Director: David Alexander
Writers: Norm Liebmann and Ed Haas
Cast: Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Beverley Owen, Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne, John Fiedler, Claire Carleton, and Edward Mallory
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 10/1/1964
Grandpa cooks up a love potion and pours it in Marilyn’s oatmeal, “helping” his niece with her romantic troubles. When Marilyn decides to skip breakfast, Herman and Lily end up consuming the oatmeal containing Grandpa’s concoction. Thereafter, Yolanda Cribbins (Claire Carleton) and Warren Bloom (John Fiedler)—a snooty neighbor and mailman, respectively—fall head over heels in love with Herman and Lily.
A remake of the series pilot, “My Fair Munster” introduces a number of tropes that would later define the eponymous family. Especially terrific is the opening sequence, which features an early use of fast-motion cinematography—now an iconic aspect of The Munsters’ humor.
While escorting Marilyn to the front door of her house, boyfriend Jack (Edward Mallory) is greeted by Herman—a giant figure who resembles the Boris Karloff version of Frankenstein’s monster. Naturally, Jack runs away panicking before a proper introduction can ensue. Oblivious to their shortcomings, Herman and Lily blame Jack’s terrified reaction on Marilyn, supposedly a less “fortunate” member of the Munster family. Though unremarkable in retrospect, the above scenario should be praised for establishing the bizarre, upside-down reality in which the Munsters live; specifically, the characters who resemble Universal Monsters (i.e. Herman, Lily, Grandpa, and Eddie) consider themselves to be handsome and charming while Marilyn, an attractive young woman, sees herself as an ugly, frightening creature whom no man would ever wish to marry.
The Scooby Doo chase involving Herman, Lily, Yolanda, and the mailman is quite silly, even by the standards of a typical 1960s sitcom.
Despite operating on a fantastic and absurd premise, “My Fair Munster” contains a valuable message regarding the deceptive nature of external appearances. Notably, the “normal” residents of Mockingbird Lane exhibit many snobbish and inhospitable tendencies when dealing with the Munster family. The Munsters, on the other hand, behave in a polite and civilized manner while interacting with Warren and Yolanda, indicating that good breeding can come in the most unlikely of packages. A clever and amusing twist on a timeless adage (i.e. never judge a book by its cover), the moral lesson in this episode should be internalized by viewers of all ages.
By combining kooky shenanigans with commendable values, “My Fair Munster” earns its reputation as a classic episode. It should be noted, however, that the effects of Grandpa’s love potion are a tad overplayed.
Overall Quality: 8/10
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