Fun Stuff > Humour
Munsters like Us
Listening Comprehension Test. Guess which 1960's TV Show we have been watching with the kids lately? I remember this one airing sometime between 7 and 8 PM and me as a child trying hard to follow the subtitles, as part of the first permanent contact with an alien language. What a benefit it is though to be bilingual. Listening laughingly to Lilly's legendary line: "I think, Herman goofed it again!" Some 10 years later the show would be broadcasted close to midnight and therefore may have lacked some concentration again while following as a sleepy head. In the meantime released on DVD, my boy would watch a couple Munsters-episodes in the English lesson at school. It was funny that he was the only one in class, who knew them. Except for the English teacher obviously, who had had the excellent idea to bring them along for a monstrous listening comprehension training.
Beautiful Black Sheep. Their show remains one of those unforgettable comedy classics that even nowadays make you forget its age. Even though it isn't as old as Herman, Lily and good ol' Grandpa. Even they kept well for their age, I guess, fact is that Herman was built in Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory from various body parts about 150 years ago and that Lily's father, Grandpa, is a 378 year-old vampire who looks like a descendant of Count Dracula. Anyway, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as Marilyn experienced in various episodes, when her normal appearance made her feel like an outsider to the charmingly spooky family. Natural beauty versus naturally spooky, so to say. And a lesson true in real life, for as long as you have a more or less groomed appearance, it doesn't matter how exactly you look but how you are seen by your loved ones.
Laughing with America's First Family of Fright.
Optical Illusion or Reality? Just focus on the above picture.
Outcasts with a Big Heart. America's first family of fright had been originally airing between 1964 and 1966, with the family members' appearances based on classic movie monsters of the 1930's, in comparison with the competing Addams Family they appeared less eccentric and more down-to-earth working class heroes (working at the funeral parlour). Altogether thery were humorous tales of outsiders that would try to integrate into society, although often being mistaken. Even if the other show had the snappier theme song: "They're creepy and they're cooky, mysterious and spooky they're altogether ooky, the Addams Family!" ("...their house is a museum - when people come to see 'em, they really are a scream." And I apologize for sometimes singing it with a wrong family name.) But back to the Munsters. In the episode "Herman, the Master Spy" our favourite main character is picked up by a Russian fishing boat and immediately mistaken for the missing link between fish and man. To start socializing with the Russian crew, he pulls out the old but hilarious joke: "What has four wheels and flies?" Answer: "A garbage truck."
Bones Made for Walking. Teaching a lesson of life, the episode "Will success spoil Herman Munster" gives a good example of changes in personality, which may occur as a result of fame and fortune. Who would have thought that Herman, the goofball version of Frankenstein's monster, could hit the top of the charts with a home recording of "Dry Bones." "My toe bone's connected to my foot bone, my foot bone's connected to my heel bone... Du-du-dududu-dududududu," as the "gentleman of parts" sings, "and that's how Hermie baby was born!" As Grandpa puts it, the whole thing sounds "like a werewolf with laryngitis" (the kind of throat infection only a Nothin' Muffin can cure). Anyway, the song is based on the bible quote "Can these dry bones live?" from the book of Ezekiel, chapter 37. Hope you feel like newborn as well after reading the comments on this website!
Team Operating Rhythm. In the end, the horror movie TV-spoof lived from the vivid partnership of a comedian team: You had Al Lewis, who was from vaudeville and burlesque and great shtick and you had sort of this benign childlike figure of Herman Munster that Fred Gwynne played. That is where you get into Laurel and Hardy comparisons and Abbot and Costello because it did establish a rhythm together. However, except for a reassembly in the 1981 Munsters movie "The Munsters Revenge," Al & Fred wouldn't appear on screen together any more and just remained loosely attached to the genre. The last relevant role of Fred Gwynne would be the friendly neighbour in the film version of Steven King's horror novel "Pet Sematary (1983)" and an actor in "Grampa"-mask (Robert Prosky as Grandpa Fred) was seen in "Gremlins II (1990)."
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