You're about to meet a hypochondriac. Witness Mr. Walter Bedeker, age forty-four, afraid of the following: death, disease, other people, germs, draft, and everything else. He has one interest in life, and that's Walter Bedeker. One preoccupation: the life and well-being of Walter Bedeker. One abiding concern about society: that if Walter Bedeker should die, how will it survive without him?
He uses his newfound invulnerability to collect insurance money and cheap thrills by hurling himself into life-threatening accidents. Soon growing bored with this game, he confesses to the murder of his wife (who actually died by accident), hoping to experience the electric chair. His lawyer is too good, however, and he is sentenced to life in prison without any chance of parole. In the last scene, the Devil shows up and reminds the man of the escape clause. Facing eternity in jail, the man nods and suffers a fatal heart attack.
There's a saying, 'Every man is put on Earth condemned to die, time and method of execution unknown.' Perhaps this is as it should be. Case in point: Walter Bedeker, lately deceased, a little man with such a yen to live. Beaten by the Devil, by his own boredom, and by the scheme of things in this, the Twilight Zone.
One of next week's stars is alongside me now. She'll appear in a most unusual tale called "The Lonely." It's a story that takes place on a - (female voice) an asteroid, and it's a most intriguing premise. (Serling) Sounds it. Next week on The Twilight Zone, Jack Warden, John Dehner, and Jean Marsh appear in a bizarre tale of a man and a - a woman? (camera pans to a strange-looking woman then cuts back to Serling) I don't understand it either. Thank you and good night.
"Escape Clause" was one of the three episodes-in-production mentioned by Rod Serling in his 1959 promotional film pitching the series to potential sponsors, the others being "The Lonely" and "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" (referred to as "Death, Destry, and Mr. Dingle").