CBS refused to let Alfred Hitchcock Presents film this Hitchcock prologue scene

Even Hitchcock couldn't get away with this one.


As a real master of horror, it was always a treat to see Alfred Hitchcock welcoming viewers to another episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Hitchcock served as the opening and closing of nearly every episode of the series, and he always managed to add a level of theatricality to every episode.

Of course, this wasn't a feat that Hitchcock could achieve alone, as television shows are often the outcome of a group effort from several television writers. One such writer, James Allardice, spoke to The Los Angeles Times about his work as a writer on Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Allardice commonly worked as a monologue writer for Hitchcock himself and was responsible for some of the most notorious and envelope-pushing moments on the show. "This has been a dream assignment and the steadiest job I ever had," Allardice said.

But with great strength and outreach comes some staggering limitations, and in Allardice's case, those limitations came in the form of the show's network, CBS. While Hitchcock was known for the dramatic and macabre, there were still limits to what one could show on network television. Granted, for the most part, the writers were allowed to have their fun, however, there was one proposed Hitchcock prologue from the writers that was unequivocally denied by CBS.

Allardice explained that in the opening of a Christmas show, Hitchcock was meant to be bricking up his fireplace — with Santa Claus still inside. CBS refused, apparently because the scene would "offend too many people," forcing Allardice to rewrite the bit.

While the scene would have been risque, it was also a perfect example of Hitchcock's darker humor that so many fans had come to adore, and what drew them to Alfred Hitchcock Presents in the first place. "He is a great comedian," Allardice said of Hitchcock, and we can't help but agree.

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Mannixishot 1 month ago
I absolutely adore both Alfred series that run on Me-TV. I find so many of the openings and closings that feature Alfred knocking on commercials to be hilarious. If only he could see how bad commercials are now!!!
freddythej 1 month ago
When I was a kid I used to watch africa hitchcock with my grandmom
AgingDisgracefully 1 month ago
One of my favorite Alfreds is a promise to, "Keep an effigy burning in the window."
It's nice to have something to come home to.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
I would have to agree that I would not want to see that prologue scene.
CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
And eventually inspiring the Christmas story that Phoebe Cates relates in "Gremlins".
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