I remember quite distinctly the first time an eight-year-old version of myself, had snuck into the hallway of my childhood home upon hearing some hauntingly delightful music blaring from the television well past my bedtime. Being the nosy little fucker I am, I ninja-ed my way out my bedroom door and into our hallway where I peeked around a corner that held a slightly obstructed, yet palatable view of our living room- but most importantly here, the television set. In which I had a great view of in my little corner of secrecy. I spotted my parents snuggled up on our Roseanne-esque sofa, eyes fixed at our beastly Sony TV that sat heavily on the shag carpet where visions of thunder, lightning, an obvious haunted house, and cackling laughter filled the screen. And that’s when I caught my first glimpse of one of THEE most important staples of any ’90s kid’s childhood- The Crypt Keeper.
Of course, I wasn’t the greatest sneakster, so I was spotted pretty quickly during the first few minutes of the program. Although, much to my delight and having the coolest dad ever, he invited me to join in to watch alongside and thus begun a Saturday night ritual of tits, gore, and the most awfully awesome puns from the Crypt Keeper that I repeated to friends the following Monday before the school bell rang. Parenting at it’s finest, am I right?! I guess I was pretty lucky to have the sort of father who had no shame in lying to my mother saying he was taking me to the movies to see Lady and the Tramp when what he really meant to say was he was taking his ten-year-old daughter to the cinema to watch The Exorcist III, (and yes, I loved every second of being scared shitless from the articulate Gemini Killer.) Anyway, twenty some odd years later and episodes via Tales From the Crypt remains a beloved staple in my rotation slot, as I’m sure with many of you boils and ghouls as well. On that note, I figured I’d tip my hat to the putrid host with the most and drop a few HAXILERATING fun facts about the gangly little puppet we all fell in love with his first appearance back in 1989.
5. Jeepers Keeper, Where’d You Get Those Eyes?
Yep, if you ever thought to yourself, “Hey self, ole’ Crypty boy’s eyes look a tad familiar,” then you are right about that young padawan. Infamous creature designer Kevin Yagher used a clear pair of his previous creation’s baby blues’ Chucky, as part of the design for the animatronic Crypt Keeper. Also, much like with the little Lake Shore Strangler, it also took a skilled team of six people to operate the Keeper’s animatronics.
5. The Crypt Keeper Actually Has an Origins Story
In case it has been some time since you’ve revisited the series or perhaps missed this one entirely, season two intentionally gave us a surprise origin story of our favorite undead master of bad puns and shock tales. Episode 14 appropriately titled Lower Berth brings us to Feeley’s Fantastic Fairway of Freaks, where we meet a rather sensitive two-headed mutant corpse named Enoch who has a boner for an ancient mummy named Myrna. Enoch escapes the freak show and the hands of his abusive owner with Myrna and they have an ummm, interesting night in a dank cave before they are discovered a year later and taken back to the carnival prison. That is, however, not before a hellish offspring is birthed by Myrna- the Crypt Keeper. And he’s totally kind of cute! In the post discussion of the story with the Keeper, he states his parents are still at the carnival today, 80 years later. So, I suppose that makes the Keeper 80 years old at the time of the tale.
3. There Are Two Versions Out There Of Each Episode
Robert Zemeckis and fellow producers knew they had syndication gold on their hands, so they wanted to plan ahead for Tales to maybe be eventually broadcast on other stations that weren’t so shall we say, lenient when it comes to sex, language, and gore. and that’s exactly what happened in the Summer of 1994 over at FOX as they picked up the series as part of their late-night programming. The episodes were re-edited with alternate scenes that cut out all the naughty fun stuff, and actors were instructed to loop those hilarious dubs of non-foul language into scenes while shooting. Fuckin’ became friggin’ and so on. It was nice for those who didn’t have a subscription to HBO or if you some serious uptight parents that allowed this version to be seen. There’s always a silver lining.
2. The Series Got Reworked As a Game Show
The 90’s were the prime era for kids and weirdly fun game shows. With gems like Legends of the Hidden Temple and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, why not base a kid-friendly game show on a series known for tits and blood?! Although it only lasted one season, Secrets of the Crypt Keeper’s Haunted House came to Universal Orlando and syndicated into CBS Saturday mornings in 1996 featuring John Kassir and his puppet alter ego. Two teams with team names of “scary creatures” of a pair of kiddies competed for the glorious and coveted prize of a brand new Apple computer by answering questions from a giant floating head and successfully completing obstacles such as Fireball Alley and The Swamp From Hell. All while CK is taunting them in the process, because hey, that’s what he does right? Even with just one season under their belt, the program did somehow get nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Game Show category. Of course, that win went to The Price is Right but it’s kind of cool it got some recognition!
1. The Crypt Keeper Released a Christmas Album
Oh yes, we’re decking the halls with parts of Charlie with this pun-tastic holiday album featuring the Crypt Keeper! Released in 1994 by Warner Bros., the horror holiday affair with the late night ghoul of fright including such national treasure tracks as “We Wish You’d Bury The Missus”, “Twelve Days of Cryptmas”, and the all-important rap song featuring the horror icon! I mean, Freddy had the Fat Boys and Maniac Cop got into the rap game. It only seems appropriate for the king of wordplay to hop on that bandwagon and drop some sick rhymes too!