"Meet Mr. George P. Hanley, a man life treats without deference, honor, or success. Waiters serve his soup cold. Elevator operators close doors in his face. Mothers never bother to wait up for the daughters he dates. George is a creature of humble habits and tame dreams. He's an ordinary man, Mr. Hanley, but at this moment the accidental possessor of a very special gift, the kind of gift that measures men against their dreams, the kind of gift most of us might ask for first and possibly regret to the last, if we, like Mr. George P. Hanley, were about to plunge head-first and unaware into our own personal Twilight Zone."
George Hanley, a down-on-his luck office worker, is offered one wish by a genie summoned from an antique lamp. The genie, dressed in modern garb except for his old-fashioned shoes, explains that the traditional three wishes have been discontinued due to misuse by wishers. Rather than make a rash wish, George carefully considers the three most popular options.
He wonders what it would be like to wish for love. While he imagines marriage to a beautiful, successful actress, he soon discovers that his wife is obsessed with her acting career, living the very public life of a starlet, and always trying to keep her face and hair in perfect condition. He imagines a dashing lead actor vying for her attention and realizes that he would eventually lose a wife like that.
Hanley next decides whether or not wealth is a proper wish. Hanley imagines life as bored tycoon with excessive amounts of money and chooses not to make this wish.
Hanley's final thoughts are on wishing for power: he imagines being President of the United States and being paralyzed by indecision when faced with a global UFO crisis.
Realizing that he's not really cut out for any of the things that most people would wish for, Hanley decides to make a truly original wish. In the next scene, a homeless man in an alley finds the genie's lamp in a garbage can. As he thoughtlessly polishes it a little and puts it back, a genie emerges from the lamp and offers him three wishes, on the condition that the lamp be returned to the alley afterward for another needy person to find. The camera pulls away from the stunned man to reveal that the genie is Hanley himself.
"Mr. George P. Hanley. Former vocation: jerk. Present vocation: genie. George P. Hanley, a most ordinary man, whom life treated without deference, honor, or success, but a man wise enough to decide on a most extraordinary wish that makes him the contented, permanent master of his own altruistic Twilight Zone."