Director: Norman Abbott
Writers: Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Brian Nash, Marge Redmond, Walter Brooke, and Harvey Korman
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 6/10/1965
Having entertained himself with a game of hopscotch, Herman continues along the sidewalk and encounters Galen Stewart (Brian Nash)—a small boy stuck between the bars of an iron fence. Herman frees and subsequently befriends the poor tyke, whose mother (Marge Redmond) and father (Walter Brooke) enlist the aid of Dr. Leinbach (Harvey Korman)—a quack therapist with an absurd German accent—to make sense of Galen’s “ridiculous” tales.
Writers Bob Mosher and Joe Connelly should be commended for effectively employing a scenario (i.e. two adults refusing to believe their son’s account of Herman and the gang, only to be proven wrong at a later time) unique to The Munsters. Sitcom enthusiasts will therefore appreciate this episode, which puts a creative spin on the misunderstanding trope.
“Yes, Galen, There Is a Herman” makes brilliant use of a clever premise, namely that Herman—a caricature of Frankenstein’s monster—would be dismissed as an “imaginary” friend when described by a young child. Especially hilarious are the reactions of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, who, upon hearing about Grandpa’s “home movies” (a montage of disaster footage and scenes lifted from Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man), attribute Galen’s fantastic stories to a hyperactive mind—a statement on the oblivious nature of many American parents. The imaginary friend concept also leaves room for an amusing critique of the psychiatric industry; notably, the psychobabble of Leinbach is exposed as such after the good doctor accompanies Galen on a tour of the Munster abode, with predictable results.
While conveying his rescue of Galen, Herman is met with uncharacteristically rude responses from Lily, Grandpa, Eddie, and Marilyn.
By contrasting the Stewarts with the Munsters, “Yes, Galen, There Is a Herman” draws attention to an ironic truth concerning the success of this series. Specifically, the Munsters are once again shown to provide and maintain a more loving home environment than do the majority of so-called normal families (e.g. the Stewarts), thereby allowing viewers to overlook the ghoulish tendencies inherent to each character.
Though overly silly even by The Munsters’ standards, “Yes, Galen, There Is a Herman” contains enough good, clean humor for the whole family to enjoy. Exceptionally notable are Galen’s interactions with Herman, which solidify the latter character as a lovable, overgrown child; not at all similar to the fearsome creature that many consider him to be.
Overall Quality: 8/10
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