Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Munsters, The

US tv series (1964-1966). Universal/CBS. Pr Joe Connelly, Bob Mosher. Dir Norman Abbott and many others. Created by Al Burns, Chris Hayward. Writers Tom Adair and many others. Novelization The Munsters * (1964) by Morton Cooper. Comics adaptation The Munsters (16 issues 1965-1968) from Gold Key Comics. Starring Yvonne DeCarlo (Lily Munster), Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster), Al Lewis (Grandpa), Beverly Owen (Marilyn Munster 1964), Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster), Pat Priest (Marilyn Munster 1964-1966). 70 30min episodes. B/w.

Like The Addams Family (1964-1966), which debuted the same year, this featured a strange family who thought they were normal and the rest of the world unusual; here the family members bear more than a passing resemblance to Universal's past Horror-Movie stars. Herman, a hulking giant who resembles Universal's Frankenstein monster (> Frankenstein Movies), is actually a kind and timid soul. His wife Lily appears just to have stepped out of a coffin. Her father, Grandpa, looks and acts like Dracula (> Dracula Movies), often turning into a bat between magic Spells. The son, Eddie, is a juvenile wolfman. The only person in the household who looks normal is niece Marilyn; the rest of the family, in an amusing twist, assume she is plain because of the reactions of any putative boyfriend she brings home.

Home, at 1313 Mocking Bird Lane, Mockingbird Heights, is a decrepit Gothic mansion that seems to be the centre of a perpetual storm. Complete with a dungeon laboratory and secret passages, it is also the domicile of a mysterious pet with fiery breath, glimpsed only partially – e.g. tail, skin, eyes, plated back, mouth.

A theatrical movie, Munster, Go Home (1966) features the Munsters as heirs to a UK estate being used by counterfeiters. This outing had the tv cast but with Marilyn played by Debbie Watson. [BC]

see also: The Munsters' Revenge (1981 tvm); The Munsters Today (1988-1989).

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.