Director: Norman Abbott
Writers: Richard Conway and Ronald MacLane
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Robert Strauss, Bill Dungan, Iris Adrian, Nicky Blair, Bill Couch, and Sarah Jane Ross
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 12/24/1964
On a peaceful evening in the Munster abode, Herman sits down to read a copy of “Murders in the Rue Morgue.” Moments later, Grandpa enters the room and cracks his knuckles, opens a window, and crinkles a newspaper, making it difficult for Herman to concentrate on the “jokes” in his new book. Offended by Herman’s abrupt reaction to these obnoxious behaviors, the petulant vampire leaves home and finds employment as a night club magician, with embarrassing results.
“Grandpa Leaves Home” draws attention to the Munster family values through a variety of humorous situations. However, diehard fans of The Munsters will notice that the premise involving Grandpa’s ploy for attention bears many similarities to that of the previous episode, “Family Portrait.”
The night club sequence offers another clever opportunity for Herman, Lily, and Grandpa to interact with “normal” society in an amusing but semi-realistic fashion. By inadvertently leading the manager (Robert Strauss) to believe that they were wearing make-up the whole time, the Munsters once again succeeded in entering a public establishment without scaring off everyone in sight.
While many comical events ensue during Herman and Lily’s search for Grandpa, such antics come across as repetitious and unoriginal after a similar string of happenings in the episode that aired only a week prior. Sitcom enthusiasts will likely forgive the writers for occasionally recycling their material given the limited nature of the show’s premise, though perhaps this fact would have been less obvious had two similarly themed installments not been aired consecutively. Fortunately, a hilarious resolution involving Grandpa’s horrible night club act coupled with a touching family reunion effectively redeems this episode from its reused subject matter.
Though the childish bickering that takes place in the early scenes would potentially lead series newcomers to mistake the Munsters for a dysfunctional family, the fact that Herman, Lily, and Grandpa ultimately work through their problems in a loving and selfless manner should prove otherwise.
Save for a number of mediocre scenes, “Grandpa Leaves Home” is another solid effort that fans of The Munsters will wish to view for the above reasons. In addition to its moral conclusion, this episode features a memorably zany situation that allows the eponymous family to participate in everyday society.
Overall Quality: 7/10
If you enjoyed this post, please click the follow button or enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.