Saturday, February 7, 2009

TV Episode Review: Tale of Laughing in the Dark

Are You Afraid of the Dark: Tale of Laughing in the Dark
Rated TV-Y7
3 Slimes
Copyright Cinar Productions 1990

THE CHARACTERS

The Midnight Society: Ah yes, the good old group of kids that tell stories. I wish I could join, but it does not exist and I’m too old. Betty Ann tells this story.

Josh: This kid thinks he isn’t afraid of nothing and to prove that, he steals the nose from Zeebo the Clown’s dummy inside of a funhouse. Man, that was sure dumb of him to do.

Weegee: What a weird name for this kid. He is the kid who dared Josh to go into the funhouse at the carnival in the first place.

Kathy: Weegee’s little sister. She’s deadly with a trash can lid!

Carney: Hmm… he’s a bit creepy. I wish he wouldn’t smile like that.

Zeebo: The Joker, IT, and killer clowns from space wish they were this scary! Zeebo is a ghost that is suppose to haunt the funhouse at a carnival in Josh’s town. He likes smoking cigars and stealing money. Number one rule, never steal from him!

LESSONS LEARNED
+ It’s perfectly safe to have fire jets in a funhouse with little kids around.
+ Ghosts and clowns love cigars.
+ Never steal from ghost clowns, they don’t like that.
+ Ghosts can turn spaghetti into cigar butts!

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
6 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN ANNOYING KID!
9 min – WHOA!! Don’t do that!!
11 min – Hmm, that’s a bit dangerous to have in a funhouse.
12 min – Pause at the right moment and I swear that kid is flipping off that dummy!
21 min – I wonder where he got to cigars? He’s clearly not old enough to buy them.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Carney: Pick the right door and you'll go free... pick the wrong door and there he'll be.

Carney: It's the most fun in the park when you are laughing in the dark!

Zeebo: Give me back! Give me back! He he he he he!


THE PLOT

Are You Afraid of the Dark was kind of like the kid version of Tales From The Crypt, The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone. Unlike others kid shows that were similar to that, this one was actually able to scare you. However, some episodes have lost their charm and spookiness over the years, but still manage to maintain a good amount of fun, even being so cheesy that it is awesome. Such is the case of this episode, Tale of Laughing in the Dark, one of the most memorable and well put together episodes from the series at the time.

The main story is about this kid named Josh who proclaims himself to be very brave and that nothing can scare him. In an attempt to prove him wrong, his friend Weegee and his little sister, Kathy, dare him to enter the town’s carnival’s funhouse which is said to be haunted by the spirit of Zeebo the Clown. The clown was originally alive back in the 20s and had stolen the carnival’s entire payroll. He hid inside of the old funhouse, which the new one is built on top of, and ended up dying when one of his discarded cigars inside of the place caught the whole building on fire with him inside.

Josh doesn’t believe that the ghost exists and decides to head into the funhouse to prove it isn’t haunted. To even prove more of a point that he isn’t scared, he also steals the nose from the Zeebo dummy inside of the funhouse. This doesn’t go over too well with the ghost of Zeebo and he starts to go after him to get back his nose.

Josh starts to freak out when the clown goes after him inside of his own house. The way the ghost freaks him out is cheesy, but it’s so amusing the way it is done. Anyhow, Josh decides to set things right and returns the clown nose to the Zeebo dummy in the funhouse and even offers up a case of cigars to show that there isn’t any hard feelings between the two of them. With that, he leaves the funhouse and hopes the horror is behind him.

This is a classic episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark. The acting was good, the story is good, and I have to say, there was a moment that I was actually scared for a second from a surprise. Despite that one scare, this episode has aged and lost a bit of its appeal, but still can brings us some good fun.

1 comment:

  1. Zeebo was really scary when I saw this as a kid. I can't believe I went so long forgetting this great episode and the first ever AYAOTD if I am correct? It made me get a hankering for cigars! ;)

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