Director: Norman Abbott
Writers: Norm Liebmann and Ed Haas
Cast: Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Beverley Owen, Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne, Barry Kelley, Cliff Norton, Larry Blake, Harrison Lewis, Kate Murtagh, Almira Sessions, Mike Gordon, and Jim Gruzal
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 10/8/1964
Hoping to cure his insomnia, Herman begins taking short, nighttime walks in Midcity Park. Before long, reports of a gigantic, green-skinned, red-eyed creature begin to surface. Concerned for the safety of her husband, Lily suggests that Herman avoid the park lest he encounter the fiend in question.
“A Walk on the Mild Side” is a clever, if extremely silly, episode of The Munsters. Especially worth praising is the climactic scene, which indicates that Herman—a caricature of the Frankenstein monster—may possess a nobler, more easygoing temperament than do the majority of “normal” people.
Herman’s late-night stroll in the park elicits a variety of terrified (and therefore hilarious) facial expressions from nearby onlookers, including an old woman whose pigtails stand erect when the “monster” walks in front of her. It should also be noted that the hysterical reactions prompted by Herman’s appearance are never overplayed, quite unlike many similar gags featured in later episodes.
Also amusing is the B story contained in this narrative, which establishes the Grandpa character as a second-rate mad scientist. The highlight of this subplot occurs when Grandpa—now ready to test his magnifying device on a live subject—attempts to drastically increase Eddie’s size, with a predictable but humorous outcome.
By (supposedly) risking his life to rescue Marilyn from danger, Herman proves himself to be a loving, dedicated father figure with heroic tendencies—an ironic contrast to the police officers stationed in Midcity Park, most of whom recoil in horror instead of apprehending their target.
A well-written episode, “A Walk on the Mild Side” will no doubt appeal to fans of the kooky, intentionally bad special effects commonly showcased in The Munsters. There are times, however, when the hijinks of Chief Harris detract from the main comedic device (i.e. commotion resulting from Herman’s walk in the park) employed by Ed Haas and Norm Liebmann.
Overall Quality: 8/10
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