A Mundane FantasticDom Com that originally ran from 1964 to 1966 about a working class family of would-be monsters. Experienced surprising high ratings during the period before the Batman TV series came on, revolutionizing color TV.The humor of the series came from the odd juxtaposition of many "cartoon" antics in a live action series, namely "Fast Motion", as well as the fact that despite their gothic appearance, the family doesn't seem to think they're different from anyone else, with the exception of cousin Marilyn who didn't inherit "The Family Look". Though sometimes compared to the Addams family, there are considerable differences. The Addams Family are in essence landed gentry (their history in the US goes back to the Pilgrim era), very refined and elegant, and independently wealthy; the Munsters are working-class recent immigrants (Grandpa having immigrated from Transylvania), and Herman has a quite coarse sense of humour. The Addamses are borderline supernatural in some undefined way; the Munsters are explicit monsters. The most important difference, however, is in the families' views of themselves and the people around them. The Addamses consider themselves perfectly normal, and cannot understand why the people they meet are so very strange; the Munsters believe themselves to be just like the people around them, and cannot understand why said people seem to think the family is so strange.NBC had optioned a reboot of the series created by Bryan Singer and Bryan Fuller entitled Mockingbird Lane, featuring Jerry O'Connell as Herman, Portia de Rossi as Lily, Eddie Izzard as Grandpa, Mason Cook as Eddie, and Charity Wakefield as Marilyn. Oh, and it was to be a drama. The pilot episode aired as a TV special on October 26, 2012.The character list is as follows:
Herman, the 7-foot-tallFrankenstinian patriarch of the family. Though he believed himself to be a Standard '50s Father, he was really more of a Bumbling Dad and loveable idiot. Afraid of Blood. It is worth noting that Herman is considered to be the most successful of Doctor Frankenstein's many efforts - presumably since he didn't tear apart the countryside. Later, it was established that a British family named Munster had adopted Herman.
Lily, the doting housewife. The child of immigrant parents, Lily was more keenly aware of social standards than the rest of her family, but nevertheless cheerily went about her bizarre habits anyway. Usually became involved to bail Herman and Grandpa out of trouble. She and Herman have one of TV's most successful marriages - during the series they celebrated their 100th Anniversary!
Eddie, a boy with werewolf tendencies, Eddie had the typical problems of a pre-teen in 1950s America: too much homework, not enough television, can't stop chewing the teacher's leg, etc.
Marilyn, the prettyblondeUnfazed Everyman of the series, Marilyn was the shockingly normal muggle niece of the family. Rather than proud of being able to conform better, Marilyn was convinced that she was the freak, and her aunt and uncle regarded her "weirdness" as a tragic affliction. Despite being ripe for storylines, Marilyn was a background character at best. Her (second) actress even said years after the fact that anyone could have played her.
Grandpa, Herman's Lancer and usually the instigator for the show's zany scheme of the week. A combination Count Dracula and Mad Scientist, Grandpa was an Omnidisciplinary Scientist with at least one degree in Occult Magic. He sometimes reported being discriminated against by his neighbors — not because he was a blood-sucking demon of the night, but because he was European.
I Am Not Spock: Averted. Al Lewis loved his Grandpa Munster character, and eagerly exploited it.
Played more or less straight with Fred Gwynne, who spent some years distancing himself from Herman until he was given a sweetheart deal to be in the 1981 TV movie The Munsters' Revenge.
Improbably Cool Car: The Munsters Koach and Grandpa's coffin-mobile. It was the '60s, it was a high-concept sitcom, so of course they had to have George Barris showrods even though it's never explained how a working stiff like Herman can afford a car like that.
Monster Mash: Another difference from the Addams Family who were general gothic, while the Munsters were based on specific movie monsters.
Even the Creature from the Black Lagoon shows up, he's from the old country, rich and used to be a politician as well. He's called Uncle Gilbert.
The Movie: Several, but only two...the theatrical Munsters Go Home! and the tv movie Munsters' Revenge... featuring the original actors.
Mythology Gag: In The Munsters Today episode "Designing Munsters", Herman and Lily exchange roles as provider and housewife. A montage is shown where the opening credits of the original show's first season is reinacted, but with Herman and Lily switching roles: Herman kisses Lily while giving her her suitcase, scolds Grandpa for trying to bite him, kisses Marilyn when she leaves for school, and gives Eddie his books and pats his cheeks.
Lampshaded when a TV Land Channel Commercial was showing reruns of the show, their promotions added (less than masterful) lyrics to the theme song, including the line, "Marilyn, you're normal, where the heck did you come from?"