Director: Ezra Stone
Writer: Dick Conway
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Rory Stevens, and Wendy Kottler
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 3/24/1966
Desiring a playmate, Eddie requests that his parents provide him with a baby brother. In order to accommodate the boy, Grandpa constructs a mechanical child known as Boris (Rory Stevens), who, to the chagrin of Eddie, now receives a great deal of affection from Lily and Herman.
“Eddie’s Brother” is an underwhelming, if mildly entertaining, episode. Specifically, the addition of Boris—the latest “member” of the Munster family—does little to enhance the natural chemistry shared by Eddie, Herman, Lily, Grandpa, and Marilyn.
Hoping to entice his wife into having a second child, Herman sifts through a box of his old baby toys which, according to Grandpa, will arouse feelings of nostalgia in Lily. Unable to remain focused, Herman wraps a bonnet around his head and shakes a rattle while chewing on his teether—a comedic device that fans of absurd humor will no doubt enjoy. (On a side note, the concept of a baby Frankenstein monster would later be employed in “Junior,” a blackout sketch from Rod Serling’s Night Gallery.)
Though potentially amusing, the character of Boris serves practically no purpose other than to prompt a jealous reaction from Eddie. Therefore, those with an interest in robot-themed science fiction may wish to avoid this offering.
Also problematic is the amount of slapstick violence featured in “Eddie’s Brother,” which borders on excessive even by the typical standards of The Munsters. Within the first ten minutes alone, Herman crashes onto the floor after passing out, stumbles into the trap door leading to Grandpa’s laboratory, and runs head-first into a wall portrait when thrown off-balance by Eddie’s toy airplane—all cringe-worthy moments that indicate an absence of creative effort from writer Dick Conway.
It should be indicated that Eddie behaves like a spoiled brat upon first meeting Boris, even threatening to run away from home over a perceived lack of attention from his parents. Nevertheless, Eddie later admits wrongdoing in a touching display of humility, ironically proving himself to be a kind and noble person—much in contrast to many “normal” children from the same age group as him.
A mediocre effort, “Eddie’s Brother” will likely satisfy only the most enthusiastic viewers of The Munsters. Several heartwarming interactions between Eddie and his family do, however, partially redeem this episode from its uninspired subject matter.
Overall Quality: 5/10
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