Another NIGHT GALLERY segment is a little more recognizably
Lovecraftian (unlike Miss Lovecraft Sent Me). Professor
Peabody's Last Lecture was telecast November 10, 1971
written by Jack Laird who also produced the Cool
Air episode and Dark Intruder.
The professor (Carl Reiner) is lecturing about the folly
of ancient religious cults, including Cthulhu and Lovecraft's
other "Old Ones." A student warns the professor not to ridicule
these powers and tries to discourage Peabody from reading
from the dreaded Necronomicon. A storm comes up suddenly.
A flash of preternatural lightning replaces Peabody's bald
head with something that looks very much like an octopus.
Could it be Cuthulhu him/her/itself? The punch line is Peabody's:
"Now if there are no further questions...?"
Maybe just one: Why does this have to be such a dumb (although
amusing) installment in a series that treated Pickman's
Model and Cool Air so respectfully?
What's even more frustrating is that writer Laird apparently
knows a good deal about Lovecraft. The arcane information
in the script is on target, and the members of Peabody's class
have names familiar to any Lovecraft enthusiast: (Robert)
Bloch, (August) Derleth, and Miss (Hazel) Heald.
In fact, it is worth taking a closer look at Jack Laird
not only because his name is attached to every installment
of Lovecraft on NIGHT GALLERY (as writer and/or producer),
but because he is responsible for producing the first Lovecraft-based
made for TV movie -- DARK INTRUDER