Director: Norman Abbott
Writers: James Allardice and Tom Adair
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Dave Ketchum, Stuart Nisbet, and Eddie Ryder
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 5/13/1965
After being chosen to participate in Eddie’s school talent show, Herman prepares a magic presentation with Grandpa’s assistance. While performing, however, Herman grows a bit too fond of himself and arrogantly accuses Grandpa of trying to steal his thunder.
Given the repetitious nature of Herman’s stage act, “Munster the Magnificent” suffers from occasional pacing issues. That being said, viewers who prefer idiotic special effects and cringe-inducing puns over sophisticated comedy will derive a great deal of satisfaction from this episode.
Though a tad drawn-out, Herman’s ridiculous magic routine contains plenty of material for fans of The Munsters to enjoy. Highlights include Herman’s corny, misogynist humor (“…and I am then going to proceed to make my wife disappear, a trick which any husband should appreciate”) and utter lack of situational awareness (e.g. clapping for Marilyn without acknowledging her presence, accepting praise for a failed vanishing technique, etc.). Especially amusing is the uproarious laughter that such mishaps evoke from audience members, who, as a result of their own obliviousness, mistake Herman for a gag magician.
“Munster the Magnificent” is marred by an excess of silly moments, the most embarrassing of which occurs when Herman dons a pair of ballet slippers and, with a little help from one of Grandpa’s magic powders, shows off his “delicate” dancing abilities.
A commentary on the importance of humility, “Munster the Magnificent” will appeal to those who admire this show for its wholesome family values. Specifically, Herman gets the “scare” of his life when Lily disappears for a time—a consequence of unwarranted pride and one from which the Munster patriarch learns a difficult lesson about taking his “late” wife for granted.
“Munster the Magnificent” makes delightful use of a classic series trope (i.e. Herman’s overinflated ego leading inevitably to a disastrous outcome). Sitcom buffs are therefore advised to view this episode, the morality tale of which sets a fine example for all to follow.
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.