Moving on to episode 3, for your blog reading pleasure! Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story...............
Original Air Date: 8/22/1992
Episode Synopsis: The neighborhood kids are out for an evening of "junk food" and escaping their parents at the local theme park, "Funland," when they encounter the ride "Laughing in the Dark." The ride, a dark house or funhouse, is rumored to be haunted by a clown. When two of the kids (Weegee and Kathy, brother and sister -- chew on the wtf fact that the same parents who named one kid "Weegee" also named a kid "Kathy") refuse to go into said funhouse, their friend Josh (notably, the ginger of the group -- ginger children are nearly always trouble, especially in "Are You Afraid of the Dark? No offense ginger ghouls haha) vows to go inside and to steal a piece of clown paraphernalia as proof of his conquest. Upon stealing said paraphernalia, Josh taunts his less-brave friends and makes it seem like the funhouse is all smoke and mirrors--until Josh is visited by the original owner of the stolen clown effects.
Storyteller: Betty Ann
Featured Fiend: A clown, who is probably also a ghost & a creepy carney who may or may not be Zeebo himself.
Freakiest Moments: This is a clown episode and, as such, there are quite a few moments that should be referenced here. One is the fact that in the funhouse, one of the attractions (a dragon) excretes REAL FIRE. That's right: real fire shoots out at Josh as he makes his way through an enclosed fun-house, which is surely as highly flammable as Josh and his baggy '90s clothing. A second moment comes when the owner of the pilfered clown paraphernalia appears in Josh's house and calls him on the phone. As all horror fans know, when you get a creepy phone call and you're home alone, there's a good chance that the caller is A. probably a raging psychopath and B. is also probably already in your house, so you might as well bend over and kiss your butt good-bye. A final creepy moment happens when the home invader chases Josh to his bedroom and slips a message for him under the door WRITTEN ON A BALLOON. That's right: he slips a balloon under his door and inflates it and, written on the balloon's surface is a chilling message for Josh.
Totally Radical '90s Moment, Dude: A tie here between the superfluous usage of the word "twerp" (as both a noun and an adjective, in the form of "twerpy"), and the get-up worn by Weegee throughout the episode. What was he wearing, you ask? An over-sized T-shirt tucked into baggy yet short khaki shorts. Oh yeah, and lets not forget the brief shot of Reebok Pumps!
Gratuitous Screenshots: Little reminders of what a great episode this was.......
Zeebo, circa 1924
HAHA That wily Zeebo left Josh a bowl of cigars instead of spaghetti, silly prankster!
Call C.S.I. Canada I think we have evidence Zeebo was a creepin'
What kind of teenage male calls his friend to apologize for being a baby, all while laying in bed like a chick? This kid really is a "twerp"
Seriously, where the F&$K did this kid get a box of cigars. WTF Nickelodeon, maybe Canada has no age limit on tobacco paraphernalia purchases?
"Pick the right door and you'll go free. Pick the wrong door and there he'll be."
As spoken by the creepy possible pedophile carnival barker, "It's the most fun in the park, when you're laughing in the dark!"
- Kristen of the Midnight Society lets it be known that she does not F#$K with clowns at the beginning of this episode. This fear is known as Coulrophobia. -
- "Laughing in the Dark" was actually the second episode according to air dates, but according to the order I have them on DVD it's the third, thus the continuity error in my blog posts. -
- This is yet another episode that starts not with the Midnight Society but with the actual story already being told. So far that's two episodes that have started this way during Season 1! (Even though the last time this was done the story changed and we never find out what that original tale was) This episode has some other differences that are rare in the series such as breaks in the story to show the Midnight Society and Gary closing the meeting with "Meeting adjourned" and not "I declare this meeting of the Midnight Society Closed" -
- This was also the second episode this season where the Midnight Society closes their meeting out by dousing the fire with the red bucket of water. -
- Does the creepy carny look familiar to you? It should, it's Aron Tager, a.k.a. the good Dr. Vink from the first episode (and more to come!) Isn't theatrical makeup just magical? (I had no idea this was Dr. Vink until my recent studies of Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes. -
There it is, a whole metric ton of valuable Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of Laughing in the Dark trivia for you. Anything new to you? If so, thank me in the comments. (j/k, but seriously leave some comments haha)