The Underground Gourmet

Levin's short story The Underground Gourmet was adapted by CBS' General Electric Theater television series in 1961, under the title "The Devil You Say." It starred comedy great Sid Caesar, pre-prez Ronald Reagan, and soap maven Patricia Barry.

Levin described his puckish 1954 short story in a 2002 fan letter reply as follows:

“ ‘The Underground Gourmet’ – a humorous piece about the Devil coming to earth to sample an innocent housewife’s prize-winning devil’s-food cake (a precursor of Rosemary’s Baby?) – became a half-hour TV play in the G.E. Theater series under the title ‘The Devil You Say’, with Sid Caesar as the Devil and Ronald Reagan (!) as the housewife’s husband.”

You can watch The Devil You Say below. (It differs of course from Levin's story — which you can read here.)

  • Levin once related that his ideal Satan would have been James Mason. As it happens, Mason would 10 years later play a head Nazi in the film adaptation of Levin's The Boys from Brazil – so, close enough.

  • Episode co-star Patricia Barry may be recognizable to fans of The Twilight Zone for not one but two additional turns as the object of frenzied pursuit.

"The Devil You Say" (YouTube)

(Above) Sid Caesar in the TV adaptation of "The Underground Gourmet"

(Above) Patricia Barry and Sid Caesar in "The Devil You Say"