Director: Ezra Stone
Writer: Douglas Tibbles
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Robert Cornthwaite, Jack Grinnage, Vinton Hayworth, William O’Connell, Foster Brooks, and Noam Pitlik
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 10/21/1965
Wanting to surprise Lily for her 100th wedding anniversary, Herman acquires a part-time job at Crosby Shipyards in order purchase an expensive present. When the same idea occurs to Lily, a comedic misunderstanding ensues.
Operating on the premise that Lily and Herman are “made” for each other, “Happy 100th Anniversary” serves to reinforce the loving, if occasionally petty, familial relationships for which the Munsters are known. Especially worth praising is a touching display of reconciliation in the final scene, which demonstrates that even the kookiest husband and wife in television history have a stronger, more respectable marriage than do the majority of sitcom characters.
While working together at the shipyard, Herman and Lily are forced to wear welding helmets and thus remain unaware of each other’s true identity—a narrative technique that allows for a variety of cute exchanges between the Munster couple (e.g. Herman “introduces” himself by writing on the wall with a blowtorch, prompting Lily to imitate her husband’s childlike gesture). It should also be noted that the flirtatious behavior of Lily and Herman is never taken too far, indicating that the advances of an attractive “stranger” can pose no challenge to the everlasting love shared by members of the Munster family.
With the exception of Herman and Lily’s antics at the Cleaver Employment Agency, “Happy 100th Anniversary” fails to showcase the zany, outrageous humor that one would expect from a typical installment of The Munsters.
Though a bit sappy, Grandpa’s observation (i.e. that Herman and Lily maintain their attraction even while hidden from one another) draws attention to the vital role that natural chemistry plays in any successful marriage.
From a comedy perspective, “Happy 100th Anniversary” is a tad on the weak side. That being said, fans of The Munsters will no doubt appreciate the poignancy of Douglas Tibbles’ family-centric narrative.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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