Director: Ezra Stone
Writers: Joe Connelly, Bob Mosher, and Douglas Tibbles
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, John Carradine, and Benny Rubin
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 6/4/1965
Believing her husband should be compensated for his additional work hours, Lily advises Herman to ask his boss, Mr. Gateman (John Carradine), for a raise. Upon following Lily’s suggestion, Herman is promptly fired from his job and spends the next several days seeking employment; but fails to inform Lily of his predicament.
Those who admire the Munsters for their excellent family values may disapprove of Herman’s deceptive behavior in this episode. That said, “Herman’s Raise” teaches an important life lesson (i.e. why a husband should never withhold information from his wife, and vice versa) that all viewers would be wise to heed.
It should be noted that Benny Rubin’s portrayal of Tom Fong would be considered highly offensive by today’s standards. Fans of politically incorrect comedy will nevertheless enjoy Rubin’s exaggerated Chinese twang, which serves to accentuate the hyperbolic nature of Herman’s short-lived stint as a laundry boy.
Also amusing, Lily’s emotional pleas evoke a tearful response from Mr. Gateman—a gag that John Carradine appeared to milk for all its worth. Certain puns likewise enhance the entertainment value of Mr. Gateman’s conversation with Lily; for instance, the “we’re not used to ‘raising’ people here” line will appeal to audiences with a morbid sense of humor.
Though likely inspired by the conveyor belt scene from I Love Lucy, Herman’s antics at the laundromat grow somewhat repetitious over time.
“Herman’s Raise” demonstrates why communication is essential to maintaining a normal, healthy relationship with one’s family. Specifically, Herman could have avoided searching for a new occupation (and scaring away half the town as a consequence) had he offered a humble explanation to Lily immediately after being dismissed from the parlor.
A delightful episode of The Munsters, “Herman’s Raise” combines intentionally bad special effects with a solid moral commentary. Classic sitcom buffs will therefore appreciate this entry, which makes creative use of an otherwise generic trope.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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