Serling was active in politics both on and off the screen and helped form television industry standards. He was known as the "angry young man" of Hollywood, clashing with television executives and sponsors over a wide range of issues including censorship, racism, and war.
He was referenced in a promotional 1964 Worlds Fair teaser trailer for Tomorrowland.
Within the context of the Twilight Zone narrative, "Rod Serling" refers to the enigmatic ruler of the Twilight Zone. He is not the actual Rod Serling, but a being who looks and sounds like him. It is uncertain what exactly he may be: an alien, a sorcerer, a god, a demon, or an angel. He is the one chronicling the events that happen in the Twilight Zone as they happen, taking no side with anyone. This entity is a shapeshifter, as it also assumed the shapes of Forest Whitaker, Burgess Meredith, and Charles Aidman. It just so happen that Rod Serling is the entity's preferred form. Its true form is unknown.