Tales from the Crypt (1996)

Season 3 Episode 5

Top Billing

Aired Unknown Jun 26, 1991 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
109 votes
  • Wow!!!

    A monsterpiece for sure! It was truly horrifying finding out the place was n insane asylum! One of my top faves for sure!
  • An out-of-luck actor who doesn't have "the look" kills a rival to take his place in a theater production of Hamlet. Before people told him they couldn't use his face, but these producers can but not in the way he had hoped!

    Jon Lovitz plays Barry Blye who is an out-of-luck actor who can't get a part in a movie because he doesn't have "the look." His old-time rival tells him to change the way he dresses and his appereance, but Berry doesn't want to disgrace his honor by doing something so desperate. When he and his old rival answer an add to a weird theater's production of Hamlet, things start getting crazy. The eccentric man casting the play (John Astin) choses Berry's rival instead of him. Tired of losing, Berry murders his rival, hides his body, lies to the man saying he got stage fright and informs him he can take his place. Berry is soon cast, but he won't be playing the role of Hamlet. He soon discovers the theater is a mental hospital, and he is playing the role of Yorick who in the play is suppose to be dead. The cut his head off and use his skull for the famous Yorick scene. And it turns out he has the look afterall!
  • Good Evening Kiddies to another exciting episode of Tales from the Crypt

    This is another great installment to an awesome show. It was cleverly plotted and every time you thought something scary was going to happen they teased you and then at the end boom. Shocking fun. he he he he . Jon Lovitz definetly made this episode and it was a real pleasure to endeor.
  • Born with great acting talent but a face only his mother could love, Barry is finally driven mad after losing another audition to another pretty face. Mad? He certainly came to the right theater!

    "Top Billing" is my favorite episode of the series, and has all the elements: creepy, a great storyline, and a great ensemble cast that deliver excellent performances. Jon Lovitz is perfect as the idealistic, unlovable loser actor with a face better suited for radio. Bruce Boxleitner is great as the arrogant "face" actor with a disdain for the artier side of the craft. Paul Benedict (Mr. Bentley from the 'Jeffersons') cranks up the creep factor as the director's assistant, but the best performance comes from zany John Astin. His over-the-top portrayal of director Nelson Halliwell is absolutely brilliant.

    The pacing is great, the shocks have impact despite a minimum of violence, and the plot twist is a great one. Each cast member, no matter how brief the part is, turns in an inspired performance, adding to the quality of the episode. The bad day Lovitz suffers through is a great setup for his final audition. The rivalry between Barry and Winton creates great tension, and the whacked-out theater troupe is the icing on the cake.