Adventures in Hollywood: Tales from the Crypt

Tales from the Crypt: King of the RoadEPISODE #22 – TELEVISION TERROR

Directed by Charles Picerni
Written by J. Randal Johnson and G.J. Pruss
Produced by William Teitler

Starring Morton Downey, Jr., Dorothy Parke, Peter Van Norden, John Kassir

Original air date: July 17, 1990


Directed by Tom Holland
Written by J. Randal Johnson
Produced by William Teitler and Gilbert Adler
Music composed by Warren Zevon

Starring Brad Pitt, Ranmond J. Barry, Michelle Bronson, Jack Keeler, John Kassir

Original air date: August 8, 1992

“King of the Road” was originally one of three segments that composed the pilot movie for Two-Fisted Tales, a Fox TV series based on the eponymous comic book line. (The other two segments were “Showdown,” written by Frank Darabont and directed by Richard Donner, and “Yellow,” directed Robert Zemeckis and written Jim & John Thomas and A.L. Katz & Gil Adler).

When Two-Fisted Tales failed to earn good ratings, the show’s executive producers – Donner, Zemeckis, David Giler, Walter Hill, and Joel Silver – divided up the pilot’s three segments and slapped Crypt Keeper bookends onto them. Suddenly, they had three new episodes of “Tales from the Crypt.”

My episode, “King of the Road,” was an original script; it was not based on either comic book series.

I visited the “King” set the night they were filming the opening drag race.

As the stunt drivers were settling behind the wheels of their respective cars, I asked director Tom Holland who was starting the race. He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and yelled, “Wardrobe!”

The next thing I knew I was wearing a black leather jacket and standing with a flashlight about five yards in front of two revving muscle cars spaced a precious few feet apart. Before he scampered to the sidelines, the stunt coordinator leaned over and said, “If either car fishtails, be sure to jump in the air when they hit you. That way you’ll roll over the top instead of being run over.”

The cameras rolled. Holland called “Action!” I whipped the flashlight beam upward and the dueling vehicles blew past me, tires squealing, engines roaring.

I stood in their cloudy wake – happy to be upright.

Randall Jahnson on set for his cameo in King of the Road