Gravedale High

Gravedale High
Also known as 'Rick Moranis in Gravedale High'
Genre Animation
Created by David Kirschner
Developed by Ernie Contreras
Glenn Leopold
Written by Ernie Contreras
Ted Himmel
Glenn Leopold
Bruce Reid Shaifer
Starring Rick Moranis as Max Schneider
Voices of Shari Belafonte
Eileen Brennan
Georgia Brown
Tim Curry
Barry Gordon
Sandra Gould
Jackie Earle Haley
Ricki Lake
Maurice LaMarche
Brock Peters
Kimmy Robertson
Roger Rose
Frank Welker
Jonathan Winters
Theme music composer Tyrell Music Group
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s) David Kirschner
Paul Sabella
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera (Warner Bros. Television)
NBC Productions
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
Original network NBC
Original release September 8 – December 1, 1990

Gravedale High (also known as Rick Moranis in Gravedale High) is an animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera for NBC Productions (the latter company owns all rights to the series). The series premiered in the fall of 1990 on NBC and lasted thirteen episodes.

The show was developed as an animated vehicle for Moranis who had star appearances in the Ghostbusters movies and the film series Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.


The show revolves around the misadventures of human teacher Max Schneider who has unwittingly taken a job at Gravedale High, a school for monsters, near the city of Midtown. Schneider, the only human in the school, presides over a group of ghoulish teenagers that are latest-generation versions of classic movie monsters (many of which had appeared in movies from Universal).

Most are either disruptive, uninterested, and/or unduly self-preoccupied in school, and the class is generally considered disreputable if not uncontrollable (not unlike "the Sweathogs" in Welcome Back, Kotter), the implication being Schneider was hired to teach the class because no monster teacher would take the job.

The actual "town" of Gravedale is occasionally seen and consists primarily of various cemeteries including the Eastside Cemetery and the Midtown Mausoleum. It can thus arguably be considered a "suburb" of Midtown, although few humans seem to know of its existence. In addition to the students' homes, it is known to include a doctor's office (which is run by a medical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as seen in "Fear of Flying") and a literal body shop where people can purchase parts to assemble monsters. The existence of a charitable organization known as the United Monster Fund (dedicated to helping schools like Gravedale High "around the world") indicates Gravedale is part of an entire monster subculture.


Main characters

Other students

Other recurring students include:

There are also some unidentified students resembling the monsters from The Brain from Planet Arous, The Crawling Eye, and other films.


The bespectacled Mr. Schneider has his hands full with his new students, but he has Gravedale's spooky staff (where some of them initially do not trust Schneider due to his human status but develop a camaraderie with him as the overall story arc develops) to help him out. Like Schneider, each teacher oversees a specific class of students. Gravedale High's staff include:


No. Title Original air date
1"Long Day's Gurney Into Night"September 8, 1990 (1990-09-08)
When Sid comes down with a sickness, Max ends up having to take him to the Community Hospital since Gravedale High no longer has a doctor or a school nurse (they ran off together). Sid ends up being chased by the doctors when he doesn't want his tonsils removed. The other Gravedale students do not want to venture into the human world to visit Sid... until Max slips into the moat and the class begs Boneyard to drive the bus to get him to the hospital.
2"Do the Rad Thing"September 15, 1990 (1990-09-15)
While teaching Frankentyke how to surf, Gill ends up meeting a professional surfer named Kahuna Bob.
3"Cleo's Pen Pal"September 22, 1990 (1990-09-22)
Cleofatra sends fan-mail to monster actor Billy Headstone who is the star of "Trudy and the Beast."
4"Monster Gumbo"September 29, 1990 (1990-09-29)
Blanche's secret family recipe for Monster Gumbo proves to be necessary for Max Schneider's class to win a competition for raising charity money against Coach Cadaver's class in a competition to earn money for the United Monster Fund. It is soon targeted by a gumbo chef named Big Daddy.
5"The Dress-Up Mess-Up"October 6, 1990 (1990-10-06)
The students raise money to buy Mr. Schneider a reservation at an expensive restaurant as part of a birthday present, but Duzer persuades Cleofatra to lend her the money in a plot to buy an expensive dress, win the Gravedale Fashion Show, and return the dress to get the money back. When Natasha Neckinski's "mongoose stole" is revealed as instead a living "stolen mongoose," the snakes in Duzer's hair are frightened into fleeing dragging Duzer with them and ruining the dress. Duzer gets various jobs to raise enough money to pay for the expensive restaurant including one at a western-themed restaurant.
6"The Grave Intruder"October 13, 1990 (1990-10-13)
Duzer takes over the Gravedale Gazette turning it into the Gravedale Intruder where she makes up false stories about the students and staff.
7"Fear of Flying"October 20, 1990 (1990-10-20)
After Reggie's science project ruins Nardo's play in Footbomb, Nardo ends up challenging Vinnie to "Fly or Splat" (an aerial version of "Chicken" played by flying monsters). When Vinnie ends up struck by lightning and loses his flight ability, the other students help him recover it before his showdown with Nardo.
8"He Ain't Scary, He's My Brother"October 27, 1990 (1990-10-27)
Frankentyke's older brother Big Frank, an alumnus of Gravedale, takes time off from his job at the funeral parlor to spend some time with his "little 'bro". Unfortunately for Frankentyke, Blanche, Cleofatra, and Duzer each end up developing a crush on Big Frankie, and their dates are cutting into fun events Frankentyke has planned. However, when Frankentyke and Mr. Schneider run afoul of human thugs, maybe help is on the way.
9"Frankenjockey"November 3, 1990 (1990-11-03)
A horse named Hoover that has never won a horse-race escapes from his owners Colonel Saddlesoar and Liverpool. He has a run-in with Frankentyke and develops a liking for him. Colonel Saddlesoar hires Frankentyke as a jockey for Hoover (upon Max's insistence that Hoover enjoy a peaceful retirement in a nice pasture), but there are other forces at work to see the upcoming horse race gets fixed.
10"Save Our School"November 10, 1990 (1990-11-10)
Vinnie, who is flunking civics, is ordered by Schneider to run for student body president in order to learn for himself the importance of government. At the same time, hotel tycoon Belle Gardens plans to have Gravedale High demolished so that she can place one of her Empress Hotels there. Vinnie wins the election, then learns the hard way that leadership is more than a popularity contest when he must first oversee Gravedale High becoming inspection-ready, then appeal to the Midtown selectmen about Belle's targeting of Gravedale's land.
11"Night of the Living Dad"November 17, 1990 (1990-11-17)
Gravedale High's talent show is coming up and every student's parent will be attending. With help from Gill, Frankentyke builds a phony father for himself in order to hide that his father is human. When Frankentyke and Gill accidentally break the genius brain, they end up getting the brain of a Hollywood agent.
12"Goodbye Gravedale"November 24, 1990 (1990-11-24)
As Schneider's class produces a class movie, Mr. Schneider receives an acceptance letter for a Midtown Prep School teaching position which he applied for prior to becoming a Gravedale teacher. Happy in his current position, he discards the letter, but his students find it. Thinking he is leaving and will use the class movie so that human students can make fun of them, the students turn against him, alienating him so that he does in fact leave Gravedale High to teach at Midtown Prep School. This causes Headmistress Crone to call in substitute teacher after substitute teacher until she can get a replacement. Eventually, the students miss Schneider and he misses them as well. He poses as a substitute teacher named Mr. Creepers. Upon learning the cause of discord, Max Schneider unmasks and everything returns to normal—for Gravedale.
13"Monster on Trial"December 1, 1990 (1990-12-01)
Reggie Moonshroud's bad driving in Driver's Ed causes Boneyard to give up teaching it, so Max Schneider takes over. His recent bad driving leads to Mr. Schneider getting sued for $1,000.000 when Reggie lightly rear-ends an old lady named Ms. Fresno who claimed that Reggie and Max fiercely rear-ended her. When Ms. Fresno wins the case with her side of the story causing Judge Killjoy to sentence Max and his students to prison, Reggie and Frankentyke must find a way to get Max and the others out of jail and expose Ms. Fresno for fraud.


Additional voices


Galaxy High comparisons

The show is somewhat akin to Galaxy High as both shows were intended to be shown to young audiences and were about humans in an environment unlike their own (extraterrestrials for Galaxy High; monsters for Gravedale High). However, whereas the main human characters in Galaxy High were often isolated from other humans (as they were millions of miles away from Earth), Max Schneider did not feel the same way as it was more of a "day job" for him to teach (although his private life was almost never seen). In fact, episodes frequently revolved around the monster students somehow interacting with the human population, who were often terrified at them, although some humans thought the monsters would be good attractions, such as a surf instructor who saw potential in Gill's surfing, or a cowboy who considered Duzer's snake attire to be a good fit to her job as a cowgirl-themed waitress. The faculty was more mistrusting of humans than were the students, although one certain episode dealt with a parents' night combined with a talent show, where Frankentyte makes a monster father to hide his embarrassment as to his true parentage. The false father turns out to contain the brain of a sleazy Hollywood agent type who causes Frankentyke more problems. He decides it would be easier to reveal to everyone that his true father is a human, which shocks the entire school, but Frankentyke proclaims he is no longer ashamed of his family as neither his schoolmates nor Mr. Schneider is.


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