Question: I remember a scene from a movie, or maybe part of an anthology series, about a man who hires another man to put a burrowing worm in the ear of either his wife or girlfriend while she sleeps. The worm travels through the person's head and comes out the other ear. The victim must be tied to the bed to keep from harming himself during the worm's travel. A mistake is made. Instead of the woman, the worm is put into the head of the scheming man. After it burrows through, the man's doctor examines the worm and then reports to the man that it was female. The female worms lay eggs in their victim's head, and the offspring must then burrow out. It was incredibly creepy. I would guess I saw it somewhere between 1972 and '75. Any ideas? Bruce
Televisionary: You're thinking of the incredibly disturbing Night Gallery episode "The Caterpillar," which aired during the series' second season and is considered one of its best. As you say, in it a scheming colonel (Laurence Harvey) falls victim to his own murder plot and ends up suffering the agony of a burrowing, pregnant earwig.
Based on a short story, the episode helped fuel a fear of parasitic insects just waiting to sneak into people's ears, but there's no truth to it. Earwigs have no desire to go into your ears anymore than you would want them in there. Furthermore, no known insect would do that kind of head spelunking on purpose. Your ear's greatest fear, my doctor tells me, is you foolishly poking into it with a plain old cotton swab. Don't.