Once upon a time, in the golden year of 1973, “The Munsters” evolved for a split-second into cartoon form, and then disappeared into the seventh layer of animated Hell. Or maybe it was chucked into Spot’s lair under the stairs of 1313 Mockingbird Lane. That damn Dragon ate everything from cars to trash can lids.
Premiering in the same week as “The Addams Family” back in September 1964, CBS brought an element of horror fun into homes of the Baby Boomer Generation and re-introduced a post- Frankenstein era that seemed to meet its end of horror-inducing screams in turn for comic relief on the heels of the respectable success from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. While both programs offered similar themes and plotlines, there seems to be a raging war even present to this day as to which ghoulish show from the early ‘60s reigned supreme. As a fan of both, “The Addams’” brought a charming, spooky wit while “The Munsters” gave us ghoulish, goofy laughs with the end result the same for both programs: A feeling of fuzzy-horror-goodness.
The winner? Who cares. They both rock, am I right?!
While “The Munsters” and “The Addams Family” had us both hooked on those feel-good spooky feelers, both programs only lasted two seasons. It wasn’t until a full seven years later in 1973 that “The Addams Family” would make a return in glorious animated form as an official Hanna-Barbera production that ran with 16 episodes in total.
Oh, and “The Munsters” did as well – but with only one measly episode.
Much like the original series run in 1964, “The Munsters” were to pit themselves again against the creepy and kooky family via the Saturday Morning cartoon lineup. The cartoon titled “The Mini-Munsters” aired as part of ABC’s Saturday’s Superstar Movie program and was set in doing so to kick off the rest of the episodes; but alas, it never came to be.
The central plot of the pilot episode centers around a now teenage Eddie Munster and his two rock and roll loving cousins, Lucretia and Igor, who come for a visit to Mockingbird Lane. So what happens? Duh, it’s the ‘70s. They start a band and thus the story ensues of a musically annoyed Herman buying Eddie the campiest hearse they can find so he can take their little band elsewhere. But of course, the used hearse that is now in Eddie’s possession is haunted by the previous owner. Now enter a couple of gangsters, and a now pimped out hearse courtesy of Grandpa Munster that allows the car to run on music instead of gas and we got ourselves a story, folks!
Of the original cast, Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster) was the only actor to reprise his role for the animated special. Bless that Al Lewis as he truly embraced his Grandpa character from 1-900 Grandpa Munster numbers to Grampa Presents. That man truly was a national treasure to the horror community.
So let’s honor him by checking out this little obscure gem from 1973 uploaded courtesy of YouTuber Vinnie Rattolle!