Top 5 according to me. Please allow for a slight margin of error due to not having watched through the whole series recently. List is in no particular order.

“They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar”

Rod Serling intro:

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to an exhibit of the eerie and the oddball. Our first offering this evening: face, paint, pigment, and desperation. The quiet desperation of men over forty who keep hearing footsteps behind them and are torn between a fear and a compulsion to look over their shoulders. The painting is called “They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar.”

Data:
Episode 6, season 1 / Air date January 20th, 1971 / Written by Rod Serling.

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Comments:

Solid Serling story rooted in nostalgia rather than horror. This one would have been more at home on The Twilight Zone. Great performance by William Windom.

“The Diary”

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Rod Serling intro:

Good evening. A most cordial welcome, to a display of canvases from which you might call... the mausoleum school of art. Subject: a common enough item utilized by teenagers and tycoons—the daily journal in which we notate the happenings of our day-to-day existence. But in this instance, a unique periodical that doesn’t record what was, but rather predicts what will be. Its title: “The Diary.” It’s our initial offering in the Night Gallery.

Data:

Episode 8a, season 2 / Air date November 10th, 1971 / Written by Rod Serling

Comments:

Patty Duke and her big hair serving up signature Serling dialog in another story that could have been in The Twilight Zone series, especially one with a twist that would excite M. Night Shyamalan.

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“Professor Peabody’s Last Lecture”

Rod Serling intro:

Our final offering: a study in depth of a gentleman from the academe, seen here at the lectern delivering a most scholarly treatise. This particular class I don’t think you’ll want to cut. The painting’s title: “Professor Peabody’s Last Lecture.”

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Data:

Episode 8d, season 2 / Air date November 10th, 1971 / Written by Jack Laird

Comments:

Rod Serling completely despised and apparently had no control over the bullshit goofball interludes sprinkled throughout the second and third seasons of the series. Most of these bits of comic relief came from Jack Laird. While I don’t mind them, I can understand how they would have rubbed Serling the wrong way. However, even if, for the sake of argument, they were ill advised, Laird can be forgiven purely based on this Professor Peabody contribution, as it is an exquisite pleasure to watch Carl Reiner unintentionally summon Lovecraft horror upon himself.

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“A Question of Fear”

Rod Serling intro:

Good evening, and welcome to the Night Gallery. Now, if you’ll just follow me. Time again for your weekly excursion into the cultural: paintings, statuary, still lifes, collages, some abstracts—and some items in ice. That’s not the technique—that, hopefully, is what we turn your blood into. A good way to begin the attempt: painting number one, about a man who spends a night in a haunted house—an unbeliever, if you will, who, by dawn, believes. The name of the painting is “A Question of Fear.” The name of this place is the Night Gallery.

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Data:

Episode 6a, season 2 / Air date October 27th, 1971 / Written by Theordore J. Flicker

Comments:

Fun haunted house story with Leslie Nielsen.* A Night Gallery riff on The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, if you will.

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*But not Jack Laird type fun, although he did direct this one.

“The Other Way Out”

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Rod Serling intro:

Time again for your weekly sojourn in the nether regions, where we offer you paintings hopefully proving that insomnia is much to be desired over somnolence — for better a wakeful night than an unwelcome dawn, if you will. All of which is perhaps a slightly agonized invitation to keep your eyes open here. We offer you paintings like this one: a graphic illustration of one of the most persistent and eternally recurring nightmares shared all too commonly by all of us, that fear of being helplessly trapped in some inescapable circumstance, and with it, the hope that we can discover an exit. The title of this painting is “The Other Way Out,” and it poses the question, “Is this trip desirable?”—because this is the Night Gallery.

Data:

Episode 6, season 3 / Air date November 19th, 1972 / Written by Kurt Van Elting (story) and Gene R. Kearney (teleplay)

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Comments:

Ross Martin doesn’t fare so well with Burl Ives setting the trap. This one is truly a dark and disturbing story.


-=Honorable mentions =-

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  • “A Fear of Spiders”
  • “The Cemetery”
  • “Make Me Laugh”
  • “Class of ‘99"
  • “The House”
  • “Pickman’s Model”
  • “The Painted Mirror”
  • “Something in the Woodwork”