Director: Ezra Stone
Writers: Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Donald Barry, William Phipps, Dick Lane, and Leonard P. Geer
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 9/30/1965
When Eddie enters his father into a local rodeo, the event organizers pair Herman with Volcano—the most neurotic horse available. In order to ease Herman’s anxiety, Grandpa turns himself into a horse for his son-in-law to ride.
A clever but silly episode, “Bronco Bustin’ Munster” employs another variation of the overused conman trope. That being said, Herman’s antics at the bronco-riding contest will appeal to viewers who enjoy the absurd, cheesy special effects unique to The Munsters.
By moving his lips to the voice of Al Lewis, the horse portraying Grandpa appears to converse with Herman—a technique that classic television buffs will no doubt recognize from Mister Ed, where the concept of an articulate horse likely originated. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Mister Ed speaks only to his owner, resulting in a variety of humorously awkward situations on a regular basis; in “Bronco Bustin’ Munster,” on the other hand, Herman mistakes an ordinary horse for Grandpa and repeatedly talks to it in a discreet manner—a role reversal that works effectively due to the naivety of Herman.
While attempting to become a horse, Grandpa accidentally transforms himself into a goat, a skunk, and a pig. Observant audiences will of course note that a similar gag had already been showcased in “Lily Munster- Girl Model,” albeit with an equally stale, repetitious outcome.
“Bronco Bustin’ Munster” emphasizes pop culture references (i.e. tributes to Mister Ed and Steve McQueen cowboy outfits) in conjunction with one of Grandpa’s idiotic lab experiments. Fans of The Munsters will therefore be entertained by this episode, which offers an action-packed climax to compensate for any groan-inducing material.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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