The Crypt-Keeper is a recurring character in the popular TV show Tales from the Crypt, the comics Tales From The Crypt, the animated series Tales from the Cryptkeeper and its movie adaptations. He has also been the icon for Universal Studios Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights' fifth and sixth year.
He is voiced by John Kassir, who also played Sweetcheeks in Johnny Bravo, Scuttlebutt in An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island, Lardak Lurdak in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the Mad Hammer Bros. in My Life as a Teenage Robot, Cryptic Chameleon in Maya and Miguel, Duncan in Danger Rangers, Zombozo in Ben 10, Art the Clown in Dead Rising, Scorpion 2099 in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Jealousy in The Amazing World of Gumball, Monsoon in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Dark and Dave Beavers in TMNT 2012 and General Fallon in Jack the Giant Slayer. In the 1972 film, he was portrayed by the late Sir Ralph Richardson.
The Crypt-Keeper isn't much of an antagonist in the scope of the series, but his appearance and evil laugh is a signature to the movie adaptations. However, in several of the episode bookends, he is shown torturing and killing some unfortunate humans that he has come across rather than the usual skeletons seen in his crypt.
- One such notable case is the end of "Split Second" where he uses a chainsaw on a show producer tied and bound to a log.
- Similarly, the opening segment of "Death of Some Salesmen" shows him killing a man named De La Renta by hanging him from the ceiling.
- To befit the bookend to "What's Cookin", he pries out the eye of a chain-bound chef because the chef didn't meet his reservation time.
- In the beginning and ending bookends of "The Reluctant Vampire", he is practicing to be a vampire, which includes him biting into the neck of a beautiful young woman.
- In the Christmas-themed bookend for "The Pit", he plots to throw a bound-and-gagged elf into the fireplace in lieu of the traditional Yule log.
- In the bookend of "The Third Pig", he states that the opening for the writing staff of Tales from the Crypt has been filled with a man bound and gagged and he knocks him out with a mallet.
- In the bookend of "Cutting Cards", he is seen cooking and eating human fingers.
- In the bookend of "Food for Thought", he rips out a man's tongue under the pretence of performing dental surgery.
In the comics and movie he is the host, telling stories he proclaims "needed a lighter touch". In the comics he is the son of a two-headed freak and an ancient mummified woman. In addition to being a sadist, he also shows masochistic tendencies, such as resolving a headache by having his head cut off.
His appearance consists of him having dry and mummified face, white hair and a low-pitch laugh. In the movies he always stars as the main character and in one scene, he appears in the red carpet as a celebrity, only to get his head cut which he calls "the final cut".
- The Crypt-Keeper made a cameo appearance in the movie Casper (1995) with John Kassir reprising his role, where Dr. James Harvey gets possessed by the Ghostly Trio after morphing into Clint Eastwood, the late Rodney Dangerfield and Mel Gibson and does a pose from Edvard Munch's famous painting, The Scream.