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Who is the Crypt Keeper?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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The Crypt Keeper is the host for a TV series known as Tales From The Crypt, a program that was produced in the United States from 1989 through 1996. Functioning as the emcee for the series, The Crypt Keeper helped to set the mood and tone for the current weekly episode by including a teaser about the action that was shortly to take place. The use of double entendre and sometimes corny plays on words created a personality for the Crypt Keeper that helped to popularize the character and helped the series to achieve worldwide fame.

Like any good host, the Crypt Keeper would welcome visitors to the crypt and entertain viewers with short monologues that would function as a lead in to the current week’s episode. From time to time throughout the episode, the Crypt Keeper would return to offer short commentaries or to prepare the audience for a commercial break. This approach was similar to a couple of other horror anthology series on the air at the time. But the Crypt Keeper was a unique twist on the theme.

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While the use of human actors to introduce segments of a horror based television series date back to the early years of television, the Crypt Keeper is not a human. In fact, the Crypt Keeper is a puppet. In order to create the movement and facial expressions that gave the Keeper so much appeal, several puppeteers work together to manage the overall effect. A team of four puppeteers focus on the creation of facial expressions alone. Several more puppeteers focus on creating the movements of arms and the upper torso that helped to provide the Crypt Keeper with the right balance of otherworldliness and human touch.

The success of the series and the widespread popularity of the Crypt Keeper allowed the show to expand from its original venue of the Home Box Office network to syndication on other US based networks. At the same time, the show moved into the television market in the United Kingdom and other places. The series was also able to move into the world of motion pictures. While the original series is no longer in production, the Crypt Keeper and repeats of the series are still found in syndication on several cable networks around the world.

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