Are You Afraid of The Dark Season 1 Episode 2: The Tale of Laughing in the Dark

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“The attic. I can’t go up there alone. No way”- Betty Ann circa 1994

So now lets talk one episode that made me almost piss my pants as a 6 year old. It was probably because I had a fear of clowns. This fear wasn’t just from Zeeboo,  but I also have a fear of Ronald McDonald. Like I used to have nightmares about Ronald, but that did not stop me from eating at McDonalds. I love the chicken nuggets and sweet and sour sauce was the shit! Anyways I am getting off topic.

The tale of Laughing in the Dark is told by our freaky friend Betty Ann. This episode is unique in that we do not first see the Midnight Society, Betty Ann just full on starts the story right away. I should also note that the beginning credits are also different in this episode, we do not see the creepy hobo clown, instead it is just a door that opens to the title screen.

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Laughing in the Dark

Betty Ann tells us about a theme park called Playland. She tells us that at Playland you can “laugh and scream and get scared to death on rides (and in my case drink), eat lots of junk food and ditch your parents”.  Then she tells us about one of the attractions at the park called you guessed it Laughing in the Dark, which featured a clown named Zeebo. While the one in her story is fictional, I just want to say there is a real Playland and I have been there. It is located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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This is me at playland. I am the one with the wide open mouth. Proof that I would fit into the Midnight Society just fine! Circa 2002

Anyway back to the story…. After Betty Ann mentions the clown, Kristen has a shit fit.

She says to the group “I don’t do clown they are creepy and give me nightmares”, to which everyone (and by everyone I mean Kiki mostly) gives her shit and teases her about her fear of clowns.

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“Finally a story that doesn’t suck.”- Kiki

Betty Ann is now forced to see how this will play out and not wanting to give Kiki the satisfaction of being right, Kristen promptly tells Betty Ann to do her worse (I like to think Betty Ann thought to herself, challenge accepted). So since she did not properly start the story before hand, Gary in a stern tone (because you know rules are rules and you don’t want to piss off the Gary), hands her the bag of Midnight dust and she submits her story as the tale of Laughing in the Dark.

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“You may be the break dancing queen of Toronto, but rules are rules Betty Ann.”- The Gary

So we meet our characters for this story, Josh (who is a ginger and kind of an asshole) Wegee (um maybe Betty Ann was eating Italian food when she came up with this story and thought to herself “This baked ziti is very tasty, hmm I know, ziti, Wegee that would be a perfect name for a kid in my new story) and Wegee’s sister Kathy (she went vanilla on that name, come on Betty Ann be a little more creative). They are having fun in the park when they stumble around and see the attraction Laughing in the Dark (damn I went full on Dr. Seuss right there didn’t I?!).

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Weegee, Josh and Kathy

They stand around for a while just looking at it, when they approached by the carny (who is played by Aaron Tager, aka Dr. Vink). He approaches them and gives them his spiel “Pick the right door and you’ll go free pick the wrong door and there he’ll be (Zeebo, he is talking about Zeebo)”. Josh and Co. decide to forego  Laughing in the Dark this time.

Now we cut back to the Midnight Society, where David asks Kristen if she is okay, she says she is, but her body language tells me otherwise.

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Kiki giving words of encouragement to Kristen

Kiki being the bad-ass she is mockingly asks Kristen if she is thinking about the nightmares she is going to have tonight (I will admit as a 7 year old the clown scared me as well), to which Gary is all like come on Kiki, play nice. He tells Betty Ann to keep going and Frank is all excited.

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I think Frank looks cute

Shits about to go down. Also Betty Ann has a nickname, they call her Bet or maybe they are all too lazy to take the time to call her by her name?

So we cut back to the story and Josh and Co are now at Wegee and Kathy’s house. Wegee being the nerd he is did some research on Laughing in the Dark and found out that the original one burnt down when Zeeboo lit a cigar and the place caught fire. Kathy mentions that the place is for real haunted (Ermygod)! Also I am not sure if Wegee has a bedroom or just sleep in a hockey rink. Josh said he bets Zeebo traps little children and tickles them and then chases Kathy who hits him. Wegee bets Josh that he is too chicken to go into the spook house by himself, to which Josh is all challenge accepted. Josh even says he will grab Zeebo’s nose

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He wants to steal your soul

Now we cut back to Josh and Co at Laughing in the Dark with the creepy probably pedophile carny. He tells Josh “it’s the most fun in the park, when you’re laughing in the dark”.  Josh is all like um yeah sure, and enters the spook house. He walks through and is kind of scared and then he gets to the door room and before he find Zeebo he finds the way out, but Josh knows Wegee means business so he finds Zeebo and steals his nose. Josh leaves the spook house in victory!

Cut away once again tot the Midnight Society, where Eric is all I have a cramp and tries to get up.

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“I need to stretch out my legs”- Eric

Not going to lie I thought he said he had to crap, as in he is so freaked out he is going to crap his pants. But Kristen pulls Eric back down to sit and Kiki is all “give up Kristen, you can’t take it”

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“Wait Gary did you just say Betty Ann break dances?” Kiki

, Kristen is all “I am fine”, but her vice gripe on Eric tells me that she is not fine. Betty Ann is probably thinking to herself, seriously I can’t get through my story without anymore interruptions?

Betty Ann continues, so Josh became a bigger asshole (my words not hers), he was really giving Wegee a hard time and wanted to make him wear the nose to school for an entire week. Josh starts to smell cigars everywhere he goes and we hear Zeebo laugh. Josh goes back home to find a note from his mom. He puts his dinner in the microwave and then Zeebo calls him, and is all like “Give it back”, this freaks Josh out and he starts to set the table for an army of like 20. When his dinner is done, it has been turned into cigars ala Zeebo. Also I should mention that Josh’s mom left him a bowl of chocolate pudding, which he dropped on the ground and now has a shoe print with a big Z. Josh freaks out and runs up stairs, where he call Wegee and asks him if he is playing tricks on him. Wegee is all no I am not. Zeebo than stalks Josh in his own house (this is where my nightmare begins, thank you Betty Ann for making me not ever want to sleep again). Josh has seen the error of his way and quickly goes back to Laughing in the Dark to return Zeebo’s nose (but first he finds the only store in town that sells cigars to minors).

Josh returns the nose to Zeebo along with his offering of cigars. Zeebo is pleased and we are now shown the Carney, who has a cigar ( we are left to believe he was the one stalking Josh which is hella creepy) and he says without missing a beat “It’s the most fun in the park, when you’re laughing in the dark”.

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I stalk teenagers

Betty Ann says the end.

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“If you want to see me dance, my next practice is Monday.”- Betty Ann

Then the Midnight Society debates about who was stalking Josh, and Kiki is all like “So Kristen, do you think Zeebo will pay you a visit to night”,

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How can you stay mad at Kiki, she has a wonderful smile

to which Kristen is all like “Sorry to disappoint you Kiki but I made it and I am fine”.

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Hahahaha

That is until Eric puts on a clown mask and chases Kristen through the woods. The episode ends.

Moira’s thoughts on the episode:

Overall this is one of the most memorable episodes of the entire series. In fact most people will mention this specific episode as having seen it or at least know about Zeebo. One thing comes to mind for me though, does Eric just walk around with a clown mask in his backpack at all times? Or did he call Betty Ann to ask her what the theme was? I would guess somewhere between this story and her next story, Eric and Betty Ann had a falling out.

  1. This story is very good, but I can’t help but see the parallels from Ronald McDonald to Zeeboo. They are both clowns and both have red hair and both probably work for the devil. I wonder if Betty Ann hangs out at her local McDonalds a lot and that is how she came up with Zeeboo.
  2. How did Josh buy the cigars? Did he have a fake ID? I get why he did it, but really? Come on Betty Ann, that is a story loophole and you are better than that.
  3. I really enjoyed the cuts between the story and the Midnight Society. However I will admit that I wish Kiki was able to push Kristen a little harder.
  4. I kind of felt bad for Betty Ann as she kept getting interrupted. It was her time to shine. I also feel that she possibly held back for Kristen’s sake, which I really wish she didn’t because I think she should have gone there.

I would like to interview *cough*Ross Hull or Raine Pare-Coull or Jodie Resther, *cough* I feel that if enough people tweet at them or Facebook them, and let them know about this blog, it can happen! Let’s make my dream come true!

Until next time “Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society (especially Zeebo), I call This tale:  Moira is Afraid of the Dark? (But not really) blog number 3”

*Photo credit from google images: Betty Ann photo Zeebo group photo Carney

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