The Munsters TV Show

by Erika Cox
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The Munsters was one of my favorite shows as a child. I sat and watched reruns of this not so creepy show. For some odd reason that I have kept secret for a long time, I thought Eddie Munster was a cutie so for the most part the show kept my attention. I often looked forward to watching it when I got home from school in the afternoons, although the Munsters TV show was in reruns during the 1970's by the time I started watching it as a young child.

Reruns are a good thing, if it hadn't been for reruns I would have never been aware of some of my favorite TV shows when I was a child. Some of the best TV shows occurred during the 1960's and 1970's and gladly many of them were in reruns during the 1970's and 1980's, some even in the 1990's and beyond.

The show was about a family of monsters including a couple of vampires, Lillian Munster played by Yvonne DeCarlo, and her father, Grandpa Munster, played by Al Lewis. Grandpa's character depicted Dracula. Lillian's husband, Herman, a Frankenstein-like character, played by Fred Gwynn. Herman and Lillian's son, Eddie, played by Butch Patrick, and the last family member Marilyn, who was Lillian's niece (although, depicted as Herman's niece in a few episodes), played by Pat Priest.

Marilyn, unlike the other family members, was a "normal" looking person. Even as a child her image made no sense to me. If she is the niece of a monster or vampire, wouldn't she also be one? At least half of her would be so she should have some features like the others. Why wasn't she depicted as a monster? Who knows. Perhaps, the directors of the show figured they needed to throw in an attractive character for some reason.

Anyway, Herman Munster, a very tall and strong man, was often stubborn but mostly fair and compromising. He acted normal but just didn't look normal. When he stomped his feet on the floor of the house rather in a fit of anger or joy, he made the whole house shake. Lillian was the doting, comforting wife who kept the family together and stayed at home. Grandpa was the foundation of the family. He often spewed out wise information based on age and experience, no matter if his family wanted to hear it or not.

Eddie was to some degree the typical young boy who had some atypical activities, like playing with dragons and bats. Not surprisingly, the family would often scare off potential employers, strangers, and others when they came in contact with them and for the life of the family they couldn't figure out why people were so frightened when they saw them. The family, including Marilyn, was dumbfounded when people ran or stood in fear when seeing the Munster family.

Their house was also creepy. A large gate surrounded the huge haunted-like house that had a number of cobwebs, dust, dirt, squeaky doors, and to top it off, a dragon in the cellar that would breathe fire when the cellar door was opened. Spot, the dragon, was never shown, which when I was a child watching the show always wanted to catch a glimpse of this fire-breathing dragon.

There were also some other unusual pets, although typical for a family of monsters, like a bat that lived in Grandpa's room; a black cat whose meow was more like a roar, a raven that played the role of a cuckoo bird, and goldfish that were more like piranhas when it came to eating.

Despite all of their unusual looks and sometimes behavior, the family acted like a normal family. I enjoyed watching the Munsters because it was one of the wholesome TV shows, although the characters had scary appearances. The show was far from scary. The only semi-scary part may have been the opening and the music for the show.

The Munsters was more of a comedy TV show that made a scary looking family humorous and down to earth. There have been a few movies about the show dating from the 1960's to the 1990's, and there was a spin-off series of the show in the late 1980's that lasted a few years.

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