Director: Joseph Pevney
Writer: Richard Baer
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Paul Lynde, and Alice Backes
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 1/28/1965
Upon returning home from school one afternoon, Eddie erupts into a fit of rage over the taunting he endured as a result of his height problem. To rectify this issue, Grandpa concocts a magic potion to make Eddie grow six inches overnight. The next morning, Eddie awakens with a massive beard protruding from his chin.
Operating on a silly but effective premise, “Eddie’s Nickname” contains many touching interactions between Herman and his eponymous son. In addition to giving Herman the characteristics of a quintessential role model, this episode showcases the many ways in which Grandpa, Lily, and Marilyn assist and encourage Eddie during his most vulnerable phase instead of cruelly tearing him apart.
While Eddie’s pointed ears, widow’s peak, and goofy clothes would all seem like obvious targets for a school bully, viewers will be amused when the Munster child reveals that his vertically challenged stature had been the source of his torment all along. Ever helpful to his family members in need, Grandpa comes up with a brilliant “solution” to Eddie’s problem. This, of course, allows for a number of humorous exchanges between Herman and the sniveling Dr. Dudley, the latter of whom only exacerbates Eddie’s problems with his astonishing lack of bedside manner. Despite the simplistic nature of Richard Baer’s narrative, the ludicrous concept of having Eddie grow a beard works remarkably well thanks to the character dynamics outlined above.
Though intentionally hyperbolic, Eddie’s bratty outburst in the opening sequence makes it difficult to sympathize with his peer problems.
Arguably the most emotionally stirring scene in the entire series, Herman’s lecture to Eddie about the importance of judging internal qualities over outward appearances will resonate with those who relate to the Munsters for their strong family values.
A simple but memorable episode, “Eddie’s Nickname” will appeal to The Munsters fans for its absurd subject matter. Likewise, many viewers should appreciate the fact that even a bumbling, cartoonish representation of Frankenstein’s monster earns more respect from his son than do the majority of fathers on modern television shows.
Overall Quality: 8/10
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