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John Kassir
John Kassir.png
Kassir holding a picture of the Cryptkeeper in 2006
Born (1957-10-24) October 24, 1957 (age 65)
Alma materTowson State University
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1983–present
(m. 1998; div. 2007)

John Kassir (born October 24, 1957)[1] is an American actor and comedian. He is known for his work as the voice of the Cryptkeeper in HBO's Tales from the Crypt franchise.[2] He is also known for his role as Ralph in the off-Broadway show Reefer Madness and its 2005 film adaptation. He is also the current voice of Scrooge McDuck since 2016, after the death of Alan Young.

Early life

John Kassir was born on October 24, 1957, in Baltimore, Maryland,[1] to an Iraqi father from Mosul and a Syrian mother from Mardin, present-day Turkey.[3] He is of Assyrian descent.[4] As a child, he would often do impressions in school and was described as a "class clown". His mother would often buy props for him and he would entertain customers who were shopping outside of Eudowood Plaza. He graduated from Loch Raven High School and attended Towson State University where he studied theatre.[5] He and several other students formed a comedy troupe called Animal Crackers.[6]


Stand-up comedy

Kassir originally began his career in stand-up comedy, he first became known in 1985, when he defeated Sinbad for best stand-up comic on Star Search.[7]

As a stand-up comic, he has opened for the likes of Lou Rawls, Tom Jones, The Temptations and Four Tops on their TNT Tour, Bobby Vinton, Richard Belzer, U2, and Harry Blackstone, Jr. among others. John has also appeared on stage performing improvisation with Robin Williams.[8]

Film and television

His film credits include, And Then There Was Eve as G. Alexander, Flora & Ulysses as Ulysses', Hellblazers as Rick, Jack the Giant Slayer, Monster Mash as Igor, Monster Mutt as Pet Shop Pete, Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical as Ralph Wiley and Uncle Sam, Smothered and Spy Hard as Rancor Guard.

In television, he played the Bulgarian kicker, Zagreb Shkenusky, for 7 years in the HBO comedy series 1st & Ten, about a fictional football team. His other live-action credits include sketch-acting on The Amanda Show and a portrayal of Shemp Howard in the 2000 TV biopic The Three Stooges, produced by Mel Gibson, and Ralph in Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical. He was also able to get his own Pee-wee Herman style show in 1997 called Johnnytime, which aired for two seasons on the USA network. He also appeared as The Atom in the Justice League of America pilot episode, which, despite not being picked up, was released as a film in some markets. Kassir has appeared in over a dozen feature films, starred in eight TV pilots (six of which went to series and two of which lasted on air for over six years each) and guest-starred in dozens of TV series in both comic and dramatic roles.

Voice acting

Kassir has specialized in voice-over work for animation, video games, and other productions, most notably as the voice of Crypt Keeper in Tales from the Crypt. He would later voice Ray "Raymundo" Rocket in Rocket Power. He also provided the voice for the mercenary Deadpool in the video games X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, as well as for Sauron and Pyro, two other well-known characters. He was also featured in the very first commercial for the Nintendo cornerstone video game series The Legend of Zelda in the United States in 1987.[9]

Kassir provided the vocal effects of the mischievous raccoon Meeko in Disney's 1995 animated feature Pocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. Also, he provided the voice of Buster Bunny in four Tiny Toon Adventures episodes (following Charlie Adler's departure from the role). He played the villainous Scuttlebutt in An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island. He also made one voice appearance in an episode of Ben 10, (Last Laugh) as Zombozo. He voiced the character Adam MacIntyre and provided Additional voice over work in the video game Dead Rising.[10] His voice is featured in the games Shadows of the Damned and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance as Hell demons and Desperado Enforcement captain Monsoon, respectively.

In 2011, he voiced Crazy Smurf in the live-action/animated film The Smurfs, and in 2012, he voiced Jealousy as well as Gumball, Penny, Leslie, Carrie & Darwin when he possesses them in The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Flower". Kassir appeared in Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Slayer (2013), along with Bill Nighy, as Fallon, the two-headed leader of the giants; Nighy played the big head while Kassir played the small head.[11]

Additionally, he voiced Buster Bunny (taking over from Charlie Adler late in the final season of Tiny Toon Adventures), Ray "Raymundo" Rocket on Rocket Power, the mischievous raccoon Meeko in Pocahontas and its direct-to-video sequel, Jibolba in the Tak and the Power of Juju video game series, Pete Puma in The Looney Tunes Show, and Deadpool in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse and the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance series. Kassir even voiced Elliot the Dragon in Disney's 2016 live-action remake of the 1977 live-action/animated movie Pete's Dragon.

Kassir also voiced Rizzo in the Spyro video game Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, as well as Ghost Roaster in Skylanders: Giants, Short Cut in Skylanders: Trap Team, and Pit Boss in Skylanders: Imaginators. He is also known for his various roles in the first season of The Amanda Show. He voiced the Ice King in the original Adventure Time pilot, but was replaced by Tom Kenny for the series. He also provided additional voice over work for Eek! The Cat, The Brothers Flub, Sonic the Hedgehog, Dead Rising, Casper's Scare School, Spider-Man 3, Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!, The Princess and the Frog, Diablo III, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Monsters University, The Prophet, Minions, Halo 5: Guardians, The Secret Life of Pets, Despicable Me 3, The Grinch and The Secret Life of Pets 2.


A few of his many theater credits include: originating the role of Kenny in Three Guys Naked From The Waist Down (also starring Scott Bakula), for which he was nominated for both a Drama Desk and an Outer Critics Circle award. John also originated the role of Ralph in the musical Reefer Madness, on stage and in the film version.

Personal life

He married actress Julie Benz on May 30, 1998, the marriage lasted for nine years until Benz filed for divorce in December 2007.[12][13]




Animated film


Video games



  1. ^ a b "IBDB:John Kassir". Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  2. ^ John Kassir + More join the TRINITY OF TERRORS!
  3. ^ "Obituary for Albert Kassir".
  4. ^ @JohnKassir (May 17, 2013). "@BrettAnthony92 Thx for asking! A very old civilization,The Assyrian Race. My ancestors were of the first Christians from the Aramaic Tribes" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Towson graduate uses talents to make it to the big time".
  6. ^ "Crypt Keeper says the darnedest things thanks to native son".
  7. ^ "John Kassir". Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  8. ^ "John Kassir | SMOTHERED & TALES FROM THE CRYPT".
  9. ^ "John Kassir in the Legend of Zelda commercial". May 18, 2006. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  10. ^ John Kassir: Demo reel at Archived December 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (February 9, 2011). "Stanley Tucci Set for Villain in 'Jack the Giant Killer'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 16, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  12. ^ "Angel – Interviews – Julie Benz and John Kassir". BBC Online.
  13. ^ "Julie Benz engaged to Rich Orosco". KABC-TV. Retrieved November 12, 2014. She obtained Bamboo when he was a puppy just after she and actor John Kassir split four years ago. He and Benz were married between 1998 and 2007. The two have no children...
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap "John Kassir (visual voices guide)". Retrieved March 21, 2015. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.((cite web)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  15. ^ Ehrlich, David (July 27, 2016). "Pete's Dragon Review: An Old Disney Movie Becomes A New Disney Classic – IndieWire". Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "Viking Ducks/Birthday Bread". Breadwinners. Season 2. Episode 5. May 24, 2015. Nickelodeon.
  17. ^ "Trash Bandit/Eat at Pumpers". Breadwinners. Season 2. Episode 8. November 15, 2015. Nickelodeon.
  18. ^ "In Dreams". Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Season 3. Episode 5. November 14, 2014. Nickelodeon.
  19. ^ "Time Squad (2001, Animated Series) Voice Cast". Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  20. ^ "Batman: Arkham Origins (2013, Video Game) Voice Cast". Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  21. ^ 343 Industries. Halo 5: Guardians. Scene: Closing credits, 7:01 in Additional Voices.
  22. ^ Vicarious Visions. Skylanders: SuperChargers. Activision. Scene: Closing credits, 7:13 in, Voice Actors.
  23. ^ Toys for Bob. Skylanders: Trap Team. Activision. Scene: Closing credits, 8:40 in, Voice Actors.
  24. ^ "Skylanders: Trap Team (2014, Video Game) Voice Cast". Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "John Kassir theatre profile".