The Munsters Episode 4: Rock-A-Bye Munster

General Information

Director: Norman Abbott

Writers: Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher

Cast: Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Beverley Owen, Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne, Sid Melton, Marilynn Lovell, Peter Robbins, and Paul Lynde

Composer: Jack Marshall

Air Date: 10/15/1964

 

Overview

the-munsters-rock-a-bye-munsterAfter eavesdropping on Lily and Marilyn, Herman assumes that his wife is expecting a child. In reality, Lily has only arranged for Eddie’s friend Elmer (Peter Robbins)—the son of Dr. Edward Dudley (Paul Lynde), Herman’s nearsighted physician—to spend some time at the Munster home.

Fans of The Munsters will no doubt wish to view this episode, which features the debut appearance of the iconic Munster Koach. Also noteworthy is the introduction of Dr. Dudley, whose myopic vision allows him (perhaps conveniently) to remain calm while interacting with Herman.

 

Pros

(Spoilers beyond this point)

Upon learning that Elmer had “arrived” early in the morning, Herman runs into the living room in order to greet “his” new child. Playing with Elmer in the the-munsters-rock-a-bye-munsteradjacent room, Eddie winds up a toy model of Frankenstein’s monster and leaves it unattended, causing Herman to mistake the object for his baby boy—a hilarious pay-off to the main narrative device (i.e. Herman’s confusion over the visit of Eddie’s playmate) contained in this episode. (Of course, certain viewers may question why Grandpa—a far more intelligent and astute character than his son-in-law—would also mistake a wind-up toy for the offspring of Herman.)

 

Cons

Though mostly amusing, the Mr. Magoo inspired antics of Dr. Dudley are a tad overplayed.

 

Analysis

the-munsters-rock-a-bye-munsterA cautionary tale, “Rock-A-Bye Munster” employs screwball comedy to teach a valuable life lesson. Specifically, Herman’s lack of communication with Lily results in an easily avoidable (albeit hilarious) misunderstanding, indicating that husbands should never conceal important information from their wives and vice versa.

 

Concluding Comments

By poking fun at the ignorant, if not thoroughly oblivious, tendencies by which Herman is characterized, “Rock-A-Bye Munster” earns its reputation as a true series classic. Additionally excellent is the doctor played by Paul Lynde, whose sarcastic sense of humor works to complement the overall tone of this episode.

 

Overall Quality: 9/10

 

EDIT: This review is dedicated to Munster Koach designer George Barris, who passed away on November 5, 2015.

 

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