Director: Ezra Stone
Writers: Douglas Tibbles, Joe Connelly, and Bob Mosher
Cast: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Pat Priest, Butch Patrick, Dorothy Green, Monroe Arnold, Simon Scott, Than Wyenn, Fabian Dean, Eddie Marr, Bob Harvey, and Jerome Cowan
Composer: Jack Marshall
Air Date: 4/21/1966
While returning from the store, Herman is struck by an automobile. Fearing that the accident has “disfigured” Herman, Marge Kingsley (Dorothy Green)—the operator of said automobile—offers the Munster family a cash settlement of $10,000. Confusion follows when Herman, having destroyed Mrs. Kingsley’s vehicle in the collision, mistakes the offer for an owed amount.
For making effective use of a monster-themed mix-up, “Herman’s Lawsuit” deserves praise from fans of The Munsters. Especially worthwhile are the (mis)communications between the Kingsleys and the Munsters, which will appeal to enthusiasts of corny sitcom humor.
Representing Mrs. Kingsley and her husband, attorney Ted Thatcher (Jerome Cowan) visits the Munster home in order to determine a proper settlement amount. Thereafter, a number of hilarious, well-written exchanges ensue between Thatcher and the Munsters; for example, Lily explains that Herman had traveled to the mortuary for an “estimate,” leading the Kingsley attorney to assume the worst (the discovery of a “coffin booth” in Herman’s house serves to amplify this morbid misunderstanding). Also amusing is that Grandpa—now clutching a bag of moldy bread—attempts to manufacture his own penicillin, prompting Thatcher to feel tremendous sympathy for the supposedly unfortunate Munster family.
Though motivated by ignorance, Herman’s decision to work a variety of odd jobs (e.g. a freight handler, a circus clown, and a stunt performer) for the benefit of his family should be commended.
“Herman’s Lawsuit” is a clever and entertaining, if not hysterically funny, episode of The Munsters. Therefore, those who enjoy this series for its absurd, screwball situations would be wise to view this effort.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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