Director: Don Richardson
Writers: Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Warren Parker, John Mitchum, Buck Kartalian, Jimmy Joyce, Hoke Howell, Bob Harvey, Helen Kleeb, Elsie Baker, and J. Edward McKinley
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 12/16/1965
When Spot runs away from home, reports begin to surface of a giant lizard monster roaming the sewer system. Herman attempts to recover Spot, but is quickly assumed to be the monster’s mate.
By employing a confusion-themed premise (i.e. Herman wandering the sewer tunnels and being “mistaken” for a monster), “Underground Munster” will appeal to comedy enthusiasts. That being said, the terrified reactions of pedestrians are a tad overplayed.
For making elected officials look selfish, ridiculous, and apathetic, “Underground Munster” should be commended. For example, upon learning that “a very attractive young lady” wishes to speak with him, the sleazy Mayor Handley (J. Edward McKinley) agrees to meet with Marilyn and hopes that she will arrive in a bathing suit. In spite of this, the mayor promptly dismisses Marilyn and refuses to acknowledge her complaint, assuming that she was sent by an opponent in the upcoming election—an effective satire on politicians who care only about the acquisition of power; not about addressing the concerns or welfare of their constituents.
Ostensibly driven by anarchistic motives, Grandpa invents a rigged voting machine in order to wipe out every officeholder in Mockingbird Heights. By allowing Herman to vote for candidates at random, however, Grandpa contradicts his initial plan to “vote against the whole ticket.”
Also problematic, three construction workers are shown to munch on fruit while breaking in a sewer. Even when suspending disbelief, viewers may have difficulty accepting that sanitation practices could be casually ignored to such a degree.
Despite his early reluctance, Herman proves himself to be a loyal, dedicated family man by searching for Spot in the most revolting of locations—a length to which even many “normal” fathers would not likely go when retrieving a lost pet.
“Underground Munster” fails to make credible the foul, disgusting nature of a typical sewer system. Fans of The Munsters may nevertheless enjoy this episode, which serves as a testament to Herman’s devotion as a husband and father.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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