Director: Earl Bellamy
Writers: Norm Liebmann and Ed Haas
Cast: Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Beverley Owen, Butch Patrick, Fred Gwynne, Arch Johnson, Richard Simmons, Kathleen O’Malley, Rand Brooks, Dee Carroll, and Murray Alper
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 11/5/1964
Former prison guard Mr. Taggert (Arch Johnson), now a supervisor at Mockingbird Heights Elementary School, takes a tour of the Munster home. Thereafter, Taggert recommends expulsion for Eddie, whose science project (i.e. a robot made of tin cans) has the potential to impress Mr. Balding (Dick Simmons)—a superintendent at Eddie’s school.
An iconic episode, “Tin Can Man” should be commended for its humorous narrative. Especially notable is Herman’s hammy routine, which, in addition to being hilarious, indicates that the Munster patriarch will go to extraordinary lengths for a family member in need.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
When Eddie’s robot fails to function at the school talent show, Herman must stall the attendees by performing a vaudeville act. Despite telling a variety of stale, cringe-worthy jokes and later dancing like a clown, Herman wins over the audience for one simple reason: the parents at said talent show mistake the goofy green giant for Eddie’s science project, causing them to laugh hysterically at Herman’s antics—a clever misunderstanding that allows Herman, an imposing figure modeled after Universal Studios’ version of the Frankenstein monster, to engage a crowd of spectators without frightening them in the process.
Grandpa’s “operation” on the tin can robot is extremely silly, even by the typical standards of this series.
Instead of helping Eddie improve his academic performance, Taggert employs underhanded tactics in order to justify his expulsion of the Munster pupil—an effective satire on the bureaucratic nature of the American public school system.
For emphasizing family values in conjunction with monster-themed hijinks, “Tin Can Man” deserves praise from fans of The Munsters. Though quite heavy on death-related puns, this one will surely appeal to viewers of all ages.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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