Perhaps this post is due to the sure-fire signs of a sick mind but so be it. I had 1313 followers on Twitter for a day or so this week. As a result I couldn’t help but think of 1313 Mockingbird Lane, the address of the ever-fabulous Munsters family featured in the classic television series of the same name, which ran from 1964 to 1966. This post is a shout-out to the show and the family – monstrous upstanding, honest (if a bit weird) citizens working toward the American dream. The family consisted of Herman, Lily, Grandpa, Eddie and cousin, Marilyn.
Remembering The Munsters
Here’s the series’ classic, season one opening:
Herman Munster – played by Fred Gwynn, the patriarch of the family. Created by a mad doctor, Herman had a heart of gold. He scared everyone he came in contact with, everyone who laid eyes on him, which featured very funny scenes throughout the series of people’s hair standing on end, people jumping over walls – in short, anything to get away from the monster. In “reality” Herman was a pussy-cat, as exctiable as a child, oft showing it by repeatedly saying things like, “Oh, goody!” Herman Munster was ranked #19 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” (20 June 2004 issue).
CLIP – Herman plays baseball:
Lily Munster – devoted wife, mother and daughter. June Cleaver had nothing on her! Plus, she was always stylin’! Played by the fabulous, Yvonne De Carlo.
“Herman tried to build a ship inside a bottle. We had to break the bottle to get him out.”
CLIP – Lily sings and plays the harp:
Grandpa, Sam Dracula – Played by veteran actor, Al Lewis. As a fan of all things Dracula, it’s only natural Grandpa should be my favorite character on the show.
Lily Munster: Grandpa, if you want the ketchup, just say “Please pass the ketchup”, not “Shoot me the plasma!”
Edward Wolfgang (Eddie) Munster – played by Butch Patrick. Eddie had a favorite doll he slept with, Woof-Woof, which made him feel at home because Eddie too was a werewolf.
Marilyn – the black sheep of the family.
“Oh, Marilyn… the circles under your eyes. How lovely you look today.” – Lily
Played by Beverly Owen on the series’ first 13 episodes:
And Pat Priest for the remainder of the series:
Eisode 1, Season 2: “Herman’s Child Psychology”
Igor - Grandpa’s pet Transylvanian bat. He is often seen flying around the mansion, especially in Grandpa’s basement, in which he often serves as a guinea pig. His feelings are easily hurt, inducing him to fly away. On occasion, Grandpa in bat form has been mistaken for Igor.
Spot - Eddie’s pet dragon whose lair is under the stairs. There are underground tunnels that go from Spot’s lair to the Munsters’ backyard. Spot has a hobby of chasing cars. He has a battleaxe scar on his shoulder and is always spouting fire from his nostrils when his head is seen upon the entrance to Spot’s lair opens. When he leaves his lair, only his tail can usually be seen. The 13th episode of Season 2 called “Underground Munster” features Spot running away after leaving muddy footprints on the floor to be mistaken for a dangerous monster when sighted in the sewer. Herman goes down the manhole to search for Spot, but is also mistaken for a dangerous monster. The only episode in which we see more than his tail occurs in the episode “Lily’s Star Boarder” where we see the other parts of the tail that weren’t seen before. Despite his fearsome demeanor, Spot is “afraid of his own shadow” and Herman adds “and I don’t blame him.” Spot was designed by Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis using the Tyrannosaurus model from the movie One Million B.C. and assembled by some builders; some sources claim that Spot was actually a dinosaur model from The Land Unknown. In “The Munsters Today,” Spot’s presence in the show is usually depicted with his fire breath emerging from the entrance to his lair.
The Raven (voiced by Mel Blanc and occasionally by Bob Hastings) – A raven who lives in the Munsters’ cuckoo clock and repeats the word “Nevermore.” When the raven occasionally makes smart alecky remarks, Herman throws objects at him. Sometimes, the raven will come out of his clock, but often only for short breaks, or to flee when frightened.
Kitty - A black cat roars like a lion.
Cousin Lester – Lily’s brother and Grandpa’s son:
Lovely memories of a funny, if silly show. An homage to horror classics, which no fan can resist. I enjoy visiting with The Munsters now and again.
(On his most famous role, 1979): “Funny thing, yesterday morning I found my youngest son and daughter watching the rerun of an old (“The Munsters” (1964)) episode and I said, “My God, THAT`S not still on, is it?” Well, even so, I was very lucky and it was great fun to be as much of a household product as something like Rinso. I almost wish I could do it all over again.” – Fred Gwynne