Trivia / The Munsters

  • Development Hell: A prospective feature film adaptation was trapped in this for years in the mid-'00s, with the Wayans Brothers attached at one point, before the idea was ultimately scrapped. A pilot for a Darker and Edgier revival, Mockingbird Lane, was produced and aired as a TV movie, but did not lead to a new series.
  • Dueling Shows: The Addams Family. The two very similar series debuted within a week of each other and were also cancelled at the same time (though The Munsters continued airing new episodes for one month longer than Addams Family).
  • 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, despite being fond of the role, spent some years distancing himself from Herman until he was given a sweetheart deal to be in the 1981 TV movie The Munsters' Revenge. Nonetheless, he refused to reprise the part for the Munsters Today revival series.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The 1973 animated special The Mini-Munsters, the television movie Here Come the Munsters, and the revival series The Munsters Today.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • Yvonne de Carlo really did not care for the show (although she did, according to her co-stars, enjoy shooting it). She only took the job because her husband (a stuntman) was badly injured, and they had exhausted most of their savings on medical bills.
    • Beverly Owen only appeared on the show because she was contractually obligated to do so and left the series at her very first opportunity.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Beverly Owen played Marilyn in the first 13 episodes but she was so unhappy that Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis had to convince Universal to release her from her contract. Pat Priest then took over the role, but the two actresses were so similar in appearance that no one noticed. They were so similar, in fact, that Priest was able to wear Owen's wardrobe without any alterations.
      • Later still, Debbie Watson then took on the role for the following movie, Munster, Go Home!
      • And Jo McDonell played her in The Munsters' Revenge.
    • Recurring character Dr. Dudley was played by Paul Lynde for his first few appearances, but in his last appearance he was played by Dom De Luise instead.
    • Also, in the pilot there were different actors for Eddie and Lily (who was called Phoebe). Eddie was also a lot more feral and vicious in appearance and personality, which is especially ironic given his actor's name: Happy Derman.
  • The Pete Best: Marilyn was originally played by Beverly Owen, but only for the first two-and-a-half months the series was on. When she left the series, Pat Priest took over the role.
  • Playing Their Own Twin: Fred Gwynne also played Herman's ne'er-do-well brother Charlie.
  • Recycled Script: Both the original 1960's show and the 1980's revival series The Munsters Today had an episode titled "Just Another Pretty Face". Both episodes involved Herman getting struck by lightning and turned into a human who was portrayed by Herman's normal actor sans makeup.
    • Munster, Go Home seemed to have been stitched together out of parts from several episodes of the series:
      • Herman and Lily's exchange about Marylin early in the movie was lifted word-for-word from My Fair Munster.
      • Grandpa getting stuck as a wolf and being snuck past guards by posing as a fur stole was taken from Grandpa's Call of the Wild
      • The Drag-U-La and the attempted sabotage at the road race came from Hot Rod Herman.
      • Herman sneaking out at night by making a dummy out of a bucket and a mop, and Lily's subsequent discovery came from Operation Herman.
    • Both the Munsters and Leave It to Beaver were created by the team of Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly. Amazingly, scripts and plots from Leave it to Beaver were sometimes adapted into episodes of the Munsters. The most striking example is the second season opener, "Herman's Child Psychology", half the episode is a virtual reshoot of the first season Leave it to Beaver episode "Beaver Runs Away". A bit of Lampshade Hanging by Herman Munster, as he remarks his technique of reverse psychology "always worked on Leave it To Beaver". Herman Didn'tDoTheResearch, Ward Cleaver tried reverse psychology on the Beaver only to goad him into running away.
  • The show's opening credits are also a parody of Leave It to Beaver. The staircase opening in the first season, imitates the opening of the second season of Leave It To Beaver. The door-crashing opening in the second, is a parody of the Cleavers standing at the front door in the fourth season of the earlier program.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: Lasted only two seasons but has become a staple of American pop culture thanks to its viability in syndication reruns.
  • Vindicated by Reruns: For a number of years during The Turn Of The Millenia, WGN annually aired Munster Marathons on Halloween, hosted by Alice Cooper. By 2011, they've since stopped.
  • Wag the Director: Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis attempted to convince the producers to recast Yvonne De Carlo, afraid that they'd be upstaged by a genuine movie star but were shot down by the producers. They came to agree that the casting was a good choice once they actually began working with her. The two would intervene once again when it became clear that Beverly Owen was truly miserable and asked, on her behalf, that she be released from her contract.
  • What Could Have Been: Fred Gwynne was offered to reprise his role as Herman in The Munsters Today, but he declined. In an interesting inverse, Al Lewis offered eagerly to reprise his role as Grandpa, but he was turned down in favor of Howard Morton.
    • The 13-minute proof-of-concept "pilot" episode, "My Fair Munster" contains a number of striking differences from the series that would have made the show quite different:
      • First and foremost, it was shot in color.
      • Joan Marshall, not Yvonne De Carlo, played Mrs. Munster (here called Phoebe). Marshall's take on the character was more seductive and undead-like than De Carlo's, and in the pilot she and Herman have a more tense, abrasive relationship.
      • Eddie is played by a different actor wearing more explicit werewolf-like makeup. Eddie in this version is an angry brat who appears to hate his parents.
      • Herman is less goofy in this version, and Fred Gwynne's naturally skinny physique is more evident as he doesn't wear as much padding in this version.
    • "Munster, Go Home" was originally supposed to be a TV-movie, before they decided to give it a theatrical release; however the budget wasn't raised when the plans changed.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Munster Wiki.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/TheMunsters