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The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner 

A young comic book fan/artist unleashes a villain from a rare comic book, who turns people into laughing zombies!


Ron Oliver


D.J. MacHale (original creator), Ron Oliver




Episode cast overview:
Amos Crawley ... Ethan Wood
Heidi Burbela ... Hooper Picalarro
Neil Kroetsch ... Ghastly Grinner
Missy Christianssen Missy Christianssen ... Frankie (as Missy Christiensen)
Penny Mancuso Penny Mancuso ... Marsha Wood
Robert Brewster Robert Brewster ... John Wood
Terrence Labrosse Terrence Labrosse ... Mr. Wrightson
Danny Raboy Danny Raboy ... Sylvester Uncan
Jason Alisharan ... Frank
Daniel DeSanto ... Tucker
JoAnna Garcia Swisher ... Sam (as Joanna Garcia)
Ross Hull ... Gary
Raine Pare-Coull Raine Pare-Coull ... Betty Ann
Jodie Resther ... Kiki


A young comic book fan/artist unleashes a villain from a rare comic book, who turns people into laughing zombies!

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-Y7 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Turns out the comic was continued after all, because In the episode "The Tale of C7", Lisa is seen reading a Ghastly Grinner comic book. In "The Tale of the Manaha", Steve shown he had one too. See more »


The position of the blue slime on the comic-book changes. See more »


Marsha Wood: John! I'm making pizza waffles, you want one?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Nickelodeon Cap logo after end credits See more »


References The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991) See more »


Are You Afraid of the Dark? Theme
Arranged and produced by Ray Fabi
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User Reviews

One of the worst episodes of the series, yet it still kept a smile on my face.
14 April 2008 | by TOMNELSee all my reviews

This is probably the worst acted episode out of the entire series, and that says a lot, because many of the episodes didn't have great acting. The actors especially in this episode sound like they are coming straight from the middle school stage into show business, and give bad, over the top performances like they were belting out some lines from Shakespeare. However, in all it's stupidity and bad acting, this is actually a pretty likable episode with a silly, but fun plot.

More than anything, Ethan wants his comic book on the stands, but no one will take him seriously because he's a kid. When he's called in by a strange woman to a comic book shop, he accidentally unleashes the curse of the Ghastly Grinner, a jester-like character who leaves everyone he touches a brain dead moron spitting out what appears to be Colgate toothpaste. At school, Ethan is admired by nerdy girl Hooper Piccalero (She says her name around 15 times in the episode), who helps him on his venture to stop the Grinner. Like most Are you Afraid of the Dark episodes, this is pretty silly, and is easily one of the worst, but with the bad, comes a great audience reaction to the whole silly episode.

My rating: ** out of ****. 25 mins. TVY7

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Release Date:

3 December 1994 (Canada) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

YTV See more »
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Technical Specs


(52 episodes)


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