Trivia / The Munsters

  • Acting for Two: Fred Gwynne also played Herman's ne'er-do-well brother Charlie.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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