Director: Ezra Stone
Writer: Dick Conway
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, and Butch Patrick, Sammy Shore, Charlie Callas, Joe Hernandez, Joyce Jameson, and Barton MacLane
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 1/6/1966
When Eddie is sent home from school for gambling, Herman decides to teach his son a lesson on the dangers of risk taking. In order to do so, Herman places a bet with the intention of losing; but ends up winning over $14,000 instead. Criminals Vic (Sammy Shore), Lefty (Charlie Callas), Lou (Joyce Jameson), and Big Roy (Barton MacLane) consult Herman before betting on the next big race, with an unfortunate outcome for all involved.
Fans of The Munsters will no doubt enjoy this episode, which contains a hilarious and (literally) over-the-top finale. Herman’s attempt to instill responsibility in Eddie, however, leaves much to be desired.
While escaping from a trio of incompetent gangsters, Herman accidentally traps himself on the ledge of a tall building. Hoping to rescue his son-in-law, Grandpa transforms into a bat and provides Herman with an anti-gravity pill. Thereafter, Herman proceeds to walk sideways until reaching ground level—an act that will appeal to fans of ridiculous humor.
By speaking to Herman as if she were imitating a baby, the character played by Joyce Jameson—an otherwise attractive woman—fails to present herself as a charming seductress.
“Herman Picks a Winner” offers a mixed message on addressing the issue of poor money management during childhood. At first, Lily and Grandpa scold Herman for betting all of Eddie’s savings on a bad horse, claiming that a “nice, easy talk with Eddie” would have solved his gambling problem more efficiently. In the final scene, on the other hand, the family commends Herman for his decision to deliberately squander Eddie’s money while proving his point (Marilyn even refers to Herman as “the greatest father image since Lorne Greene”)—a contradiction that serves to muddle the life lesson presented in this episode.
For complementing a gangster-themed premise with kooky antics, “Herman Picks a Winner” should be praised. Nevertheless, Herman’s approach to disciplining Eddie may perturb viewers with a sense of justice.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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