Director: Jerry Paris
Writers: Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Leo Durocher, Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch, Gene Darfler, and Ken Hunt
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 4/8/1965
After hitting Leo Durocher in the head with a line drive from eight blocks away, Herman is offered an opportunity to play baseball with the Dodgers. Delighted, Herman accepts Leo’s proposal; however, the other players aren’t quite so thrilled at the prospect of sharing a field with Herman.
A classic episode, “Herman the Rookie” should appeal to The Munsters fans and baseball followers alike. Especially noteworthy are Herman’s antics while trying out with the Dodgers, which will no doubt satisfy viewers who enjoy this show for its zany subject matter.
Though not a professional actor, baseball manager Leo Durocher lent credibility to the aforementioned premise with his realistic and amusing reactions to Herman. Likewise, many screwball gags ensue from Herman’s trial period with established team members, most of whom prefer to quit the game rather than risk serious injury (one catcher claims he would go back to work in the mines before he would attempt to stop a ball thrown by Herman). Also hilarious are the intentionally awful special effects included in these sequences, which allow audiences with little or no interest in baseball to derive enjoyment from Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher’s sports-themed narrative (highlights include Herman’s destruction of a scoreboard and eventual run-in with a wired fence, both of which lead Walter O’Malley to conclude that he would be forced to rebuild the Dodgers’ stadium after every game if Herman were signed to the team).
When Herman returns home from a failed practice session, each family member makes a commendable effort to console him (Grandpa, however, expresses his disappointment over the fact that he won’t be able to sponge a million dollars off his son-in-law). While Herman’s reaction to this display is entirely ridiculous, those who admire the Munsters for their great family values may nonetheless appreciate the above conclusion for its poignant qualities.
“Herman the Rookie” contains many iconic moments involving Herman and his clumsy interactions with real-life members of the Dodgers. For diehard fans of The Munsters, this one is a must.
Overall Quality: 10/10
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