Tales From the Darkside 209: The Trouble With Mary Jane

As the episode opens Phyllis Diller and Lawrence Tierney are led into a posh bedchamber by a formally-dressed matron. It seems that the woman is concerned about her granddaughter, who is, at present, possessed by a demon! Diller and Tierney play charlatan fortunetellers, it seems, and they've been tasked with figuring out a way to exorcise the beast from the little girl. Diller wants to bug out, given that they have no idea what they're doing, but Tierney is fixated on the fifty thousand dollars they stand to make if the job is successful!

Oh, and just in case you were worried that this might be one of their serious episodes, causing a debate to arise about whether this was a real possession or just some psychological nonsense, get a look at the little girl's legs-

So yeah. It's a demon, and a comedy one at that!

Confronted with a genuine twelve-thousand-year-old demon, Tierney's demands that she simply leave are largely ineffective. They retreat to their office to look into the mechanics of exorcism - but can they possibly figure out a way to defeat the most nefarious creature imagineable? And, more importantly for the episode's success, will it be funny?

Carefully reading the bible (it's the exorcist's bible!) Tierney comes up with a scheme - present the demon with a pig, drive the demon's soul into said pig, and then 'deal with' the pig. Problem solved! Diller is largely unimpressed with the plan, and for good reason. Despite the use of pentagrams and props, the demon proves too strong for simple spells. Her ability to generate tornadoes within the room fairly trumps their permanent marker and sigil plan.

Tierney isn't discouraged, however. He goes to the demonology book, and comes up with a reference to 'Gad, the king of hell'. His plan: summon a more powerful demon, and have it command the lesser demon to leave. Gee, what could possibly go wrong with that scheme, right?

The summon goes just as well as it possibly could, with Gad showing up in the form of a laser pointer in a smoky room-

He's pissed about being brought from hell, however, and before Tierney can use a spell to bind Gad to their will, he jumps into Mary Jane's body as well! Okay, this is getting confusing. Especially when the two demons begin yelling at one another inside the girl, neither one of them willing to give up their anchor to the human world. Tierney has a plan, though - work out, get into good physical shape, and use that newfound fitness to... um, beat the demons out of her? I'm not really sure where this is going.

After a week of fasting, exercise, and meditation, Tierney returns to the demon's room. He believes that he can simply order the demons out through sheer force of will. Amazingly, this terrible scheme actually works! His internal strength buffered by rhyming couplets about souls and power, the demons finally give up and flee the little girl's body. There's one final twist, though, as Tierney wasn't exactly clear on just where the demons should go once they've left the innocent-

Naturally, the female demon is in Tierney, and the male is in Diller. Because Tales From the Darkside believes one should never leave an easy joke on the table.

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