Tales from the Crypt (1996)

Season 3 Episode 5

Top Billing

Aired Unknown Jun 26, 1991 on HBO



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Spoiler Warning

      Halliwell: [after Barry is killed and his skull is being used as a prop] Perhaps I was wrong about the young man. He does have the look, after all.

    • [Opening wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper hosting Mashed-to-pieces Theater.] The Crypt Keeper: Good evening, culture vultures, and welcome to another installment of Mashed-to-pieces Theater. [laughs]. Tonight we ask the question, 'To be or not to be?' Or in this case, an actor stuck with an average face, whose so sick and tired of auditioning, he's willing to do almost anything. Did I say almost? I call this sickening saga, "Top Billing". [Closing wraparound segment with the Crypt Keeper hosting Mashed-to-pieces Theater.] The Crypt Keeper: Bravo! Encore! Well, Barry axed for the part and he got it. But typical Barry. They still couldn't have used his face. It's just as well. The critics would have cut him to pieces. [laughs] I'm calling my agent. I've waited all my death to play the part of Yorick, so until next time, kiddies. Hello? I'd like to speak with my agent. What do you mean he's in a beating?

  • Notes

    • EC Comic Connection: Story adapted from The Vault Of Horror #39, Oct-Nov 1954. Story by Carl Wessler with art by Reed Crandall.

  • Allusions

    • Masterpiece Theater

      Masterpiece Theater is a drama-themed anthology show on PBS that premiered in 1971.

      In the opening and closing wraparound segments, The Cryptkeeper is shown hosting a macabre parody of Masterpiece Theater, which he calls Mashed-to-pieces Theater.

    • Mel Gibson

      American-born Australian actor turned director who first received notice starring in Mad Max (1979). He is perhaps best known for the four Lethal Weapon films, which were directed by Tales From The Crypt producer and director Richard Donner. In 1995, he starred in, produced, and directed Braveheart, for which he won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture. Offscreen he is a very controversial figure, having made offensive remarks against Jews, homosexuals, and politicians. He also has had alcohol problems, with his most recent drunk driving charge being in 2006.

      In this episode, Barry's agent tells him that Mel can do Shakespeare because "He has the look." She is referring to his starring role in Hamlet (1990).

    • Talking Crypt Keeper doll

      A doll of the Crypt Keeper released in 1993 as part of the animated Tales From The Crypt Keeper animated series but look was modeled after the HBO version. This doll came in a few different outfits, straw hat beach wear and tuxedo. A button was located on his chest which said phrases when pressed. The doll can be found in original Tales From The Crypt Keeper packaging as well as later releases in Tales From The Crypt packaging.

      In this episode, the tuxedo that is worn by the Crypt Keeper is possibly the inspiration for the tuxedo version of the Talking Crypt Keeper doll as it is near identical.

      The Crypt Keeper also wears the tuxedo in the episode, "Mournin' Mess", among others.