The Munsters Episode 35: Herman’s Happy Valley

Technical Specs

Director: Ezra Stone

Writer: Dick Conway

Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Jon Hoyt, Bartlett Robinson, and Richard Reeves

Composer: Jack Marshall

Air Date: 5/20/1965



After purchasing ten acres of land in Happy Holiday Valley—a ghost town advertised as a vacation resort—from con artists Barney Walters (John Hoyt) and Gil Craigthe-munters-hermans-happy-valley (Richard Reeves), the Munsters immediately fall in love with the warm, cozy atmosphere of their new home away from home. Barney and Craig are initially pleased with the agreement; however, when Cunningham Aeronautics later offers $50,000 for the entire plot, the two criminals decide to “scare” the Munsters into selling back their recently purchased shares.

“Herman’s Happy Valley” should be commended for putting a clever spin on the conman trope. Especially worth praising, a late-night encounter involving Barney, Gil, and Herman leads to a frightful turn of events for only the former two involved.



Upon settling into the Happy Holiday Valley “vacation” home, Herman and the gang react to their surroundings in such a way that will amuse audiences who enjoy the kooky, zany humor typical of The Munsters. Highlights include Grandpa’s approval of the “excellent entertainment and recreational facilities” (actually a noose from whichthe-munsters-hermans-happy-valley Big Billy was hanged nearly a hundred years prior) and Eddie’s “lovely” catch during a dry-land fishing trip.

Also hilarious is the fact that Barney—now desperate to convince the Munsters that their property is haunted—repeatedly knocks on an outside wall and sets in motion a self-playing piano, only for Grandpa to respond with irritation, not fear, toward what he assumes to be the spirit of his “no-good” cousin Humphrey. The shenanigans of Barney and Gil culminate in a brilliant twist ending, wherein Herman dons a cowboy outfit and is therefore mistaken for the ghost of Big Billy—the opposite of what both crooks, now sporting Halloween costumes, had expected to happen.






the-munsters-hermans-happy-valleyBy choosing to sell his share of the Happy Holiday resort in order to advance a noble cause (i.e. solving the problems of everyone by blowing up the world), Herman further solidifies himself as an altruistic figure.


Concluding Comments

A delightful episode, “Herman’s Happy Valley” combines idiotic special effects with a simple, albeit wonderfully executed, misunderstanding scenario. For both casual viewers and diehard fans of The Munsters, this one will not disappoint.


Overall Quality: 10/10


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