Exclusive Interview With John Kassir on Mystic Cosmic Patrol and More!

If you were (and still are) an ardent fan of the “Tales From The Crypt” series, then you more than likely remember that ragged voice of the Cryptkeeper, sounding as if the little bastard had gargled with glass as he introduced every chilling tale week after week. But what a small percentage of you might not know is who the voice was behind the shrunken, shriveled and decaying host of the show – his name is John Kassir, and his resume is as long as the catacombs that led us to the Cryptkeeper’s tomb. He was gracious enough to give us a few minutes to discuss his latest project, Mystic Cosmic Patrol, as well as what he’s got lined up in the future, so sit on down, read hearty and enjoy!

DC: Alright John, give us all the info on Mystic Cosmic Patrol – the premise, your character, all the details.

JK: Mystic Cosmic Patrol is a team of humans on Earth, and they use their martial arts skills and special powers to fight off these evil space monsters, the Powertrons. There’s also a giant robot named Gigantus, and it’s a send-up of comedy, sci-fi and martial arts adventures parodies and programs like Power Rangers, Voltron and Ultraman – all the stuff we grew up with. It’s a lot of fun – I play Martini-Bot, the robot that is kind of useless, except that he’s been reprogrammed to make the perfect martini to serve during cocktail hour (laughs). It’s totally been made for anyone who’s seen any of that stuff, and they’re going to love it, and obviously it’s got all the words that people love to use like “nerd-tastic.” The 120,000 people who showed up for Comic-Con would probably sit down to watch this together and laugh at all the same things. I think that everyone really did a fantastic job putting this thing together. Gavin Hignight contacted me when he was doing all the P.R. work for FearNet when they carried Tales From The Crypt, and we had an immediate liking for one another – he’s incredibly talented. This has a lot of adventure as well as humor, and it’s not so on-the-nose that it’s sarcastic – it’s kind of like the old Naked Gun movies where everyone is everyone is playing it seriously but all of the things around them that are happening are complete buffoonery.

I had a great time with it, and I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into until they showed me some of the artwork, and the stuff that had already been shot, and I thought it was hysterical and when they asked me to get on board, I said “oh yeah – this is going to be a lot of fun.”

DC: You’ve had your share of on-screen roles as well as a ton of voice-work: do you see a different mode of preparation when getting ready to act, be it in front of the camera or into a microphone?

JK: You know one of the fun things about voice-overs is that I get to play stuff that I’d never get to play on-camera – I play a skinny dead guy, and once I got to voice Deadpool, and I don’t look like an action hero! (laughs) I’d play Charlie Chaplin before I’d play Deadpool, but that’s a really fun thing – crawling into the physicality of characters, and I’m not typed out by my age or my race or whether I’m human or not. It’s hard work, and sometimes they want to be really specific as to what they’ve already animated or conceived with artwork that’s sometimes not on the page at all. They’re just going off of what you bring to it, and it’s a different skill-set right off the bat, and a lot of on-camera work requires a different skill-set than that of what I’m using when I’m a voice actor, and that’s a lot of fun for me. I started out in theater, which is why I love Mystic Cosmic Patrol because it’s got that live theater feel to it. As I get older and I have on-screen roles, I get to put more of my personal self into it, and back in 1985 when I won “Star Search” as a comedian, most of the stuff that I did after that was comedy – spaced out guys and that kind of thing. Alot of that had to do with the fact that I didn’t know myself as well as I know myself now – you can deepen any character by putting some of yourself into it. With voice work, you’ve got to bring a lot of what your imagination brings, but they’re both fun for different reasons.

DC: Onto the question that many horror fans have been asking for some time, and whether or not the reboot of “Tales From The Crypt” is going to get off the ground or not remains to be seen, but is there any truth to the rumor that you were not asked to play The Cryptkeeper this time around?

JK: As you know, “Tales From The Crypt” was based on the comic book owned by William Gaines who had inherited it from his dad, and it has such a great history, and on the first season on DVD there’s a great behind-the-scenes on it. When William passed away his family inherited the rights, and we got the rights when Joel Silver, Bob Zemeckis, Richard Donner, David Guyler and HBO made the series, and they created their own version of The Cryptkeeper, which was what I voiced. While they still own the rights to that specific Cryptkeeper, they no longer have the rights to “Tales From The Crypt,” so once we made our episodes and gave up the rights, they were sold off to someone else. So the new owners had planned to re-do the series on TNT with M. Night Shyamalan, which sounded like an interesting idea , and they didn’t have the rights to use The Cryptkeeper that we created, so it was kind of a catch-22, and myself and the man that played the puppet weren’t able to work because it was created specifically for the HBO version of the show, and unfortunately it fell through and the rights didn’t work out for whatever reason or another, and it’s sad news for fans that had hoped to see the show back on the air, but it’s good news for us because they may revert back to us – we don’t know yet, and I haven’t heard anything, but in my mind it leaves the door open for us to do the “Tales From The Crypt” that we all know and love.

DC: So what’s up next for you on the work slate?

JK: You know, this year I’ve been really busy – I did Despicable 3, Planet Of The Apes, The Emoji Movie – I’ve also got an independent feature that I’m working on in Atlanta at the end of this year, and I’m also doing the convention circuit as well in addition to Mystic Cosmic Patrol – it’ll be airing on Funny Or Die starting August 24th. I’m just staying busy, hanging out with the fans, and keeping the dead guy alive! Make sure to give my BEAST to all the guys at Dread Central!

Feel free to check out a clip from Mystic Cosmic Patrol below, and pay close attention to the character “Potty Mouth” who was created by the Season 11 winner of SyFy’s “Face-Off,” Cig Neutron. If you’re up for diving into the series, click here!

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!

Matt Boiselle

Get Your Box of Dread Now
*US Residents Only .