Director: Norman Abbott
Writers: Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Herbert Rudley, Dort Clark, Ronnie Dapo, Pat Rosson, Larry Thor, and Ray Montgomery
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 1/21/1965
After purchasing a ham radio and using it to communicate with a couple of kids pretending to be spacemen, Herman believes that he’s made first contact with a race of Martians. Captivated by Herman’s ridiculous scheme, Grandpa whips out a transistorized divining rod to help his son-in-law track down the Martian spacecraft.
Though younger generations may have difficulty relating to an era when instant communication on a global scale was an exciting new concept, fans of The Munsters can surely appreciate Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher’s clever use of Herman’s naïve personality.
Because Herman’s intellect parallels that of a typical child, it’s no surprise that the gullible green giant would be so easily fooled by the juvenile antics of Eddie’s friends. Of course, this humorous misunderstanding becomes even more outrageous when Walt (Pat Rosson) and Roger (Ronnie Dapo) obtain a toy spacecraft, thus “proving” Herman’s assertion that he had been communicating with aliens all along (this theory is later debunked when Grandpa’s photograph reveals a “made in Japan” tag on the UFO). Also amusing is the fact that Herman doesn’t find anything strange about the ship’s unexpectedly small size, and instead assumes that it was built in such a way to accommodate the short stature of its “occupants.”
Fred Gwynne’s chemistry with Al Lewis is exceptionally strong in this episode, especially when Herman and Grandpa set aside their respective differences in order to pursue a common goal. As a result of Grandpa’s decision to accompany Herman on his idiotic quest, the aforementioned vampire proves himself to be just as foolish as his son-in-law, despite his frequent claims to the contrary.
A true series classic, “If a Martian Answers, Hang Up” will appeal to UFO enthusiasts and The Munsters fans alike. Specifically, those who enjoy Herman’s bumbling interactions with Grandpa should view this episode for reasons outlined earlier.
Overall Quality: 10/10
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