The Munsters

(redirected from Grandpa Munster)

The Munsters

(pop culture)

The Munsters emerged in 1964 as one of two new situation comedies in the fall television season featuring a cast of “monstrous” characters attempting to live as an otherwise normal family. Included in the Munster family were two vampires, Lily (played by Yvonne De Carlo) and Grandpa (Al Lewis), who in the course of the series was revealed to be none other than Count Dracula. The family was completed by the Frankensteinish Herman (Fred Gwynne) and the children, the wolfish Eddie (Butch Patrick) and the very “normal” Marilyn (Beverly Owens). Herman worked in a mortuary owned by classic horror actor John Carradine. The Munsters ran for two seasons. It gave birth to a comic book from Gold Key that ran for sixteen issues from January 1965 to January 1968. The original cast joined in a movie, Munster! Go Home, released in 1966, in which John Carradine assumed a different role as the family’s butler.

A second movie—The Munsters’ Revenge—was made for television and aired February 27, 1981. It included the major stars—Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, and Al Lewis. The series was revived for the 1988 season as The Munsters Today, starring John Shuck (Herman), Lee Meriweather (Lily), and Howard Morton (Grandpa). In spite of bad reviews by fans of the original series, its seventy-two episodes carried it into 1991.

Possibly the most vampiric of all The Munsters shows was the animated sequel Mini-Munsters, which played in 1973 for the Saturday Superstar Movie on ABC. The story concerned a Dracula-like relative sending two teenagers, Igor (a Frankenstein-like monster) and Lucretia (a vampire), to stay with the Munster family.

Originally, The Munsters ran opposite the ABC series The Addams Family. Both were popular in their original format and both have had numerous spin-offs in the form of movies, comic books, and other paraphernalia. The Munsters and the Addams tended to appeal to the same set of fans, and in the 1990s, some fans of the two shows banded together to form The Munsters and Addams Family Fan Club (

The mid-1990s saw a new wave of Munsters nostalgia. A trading card series, The Munsters Collection, was issued by Kayro-Vue Productions in 1996, and the following year at the annual ComicCon International in San Diego, a new Munsters comic book was launched.

As a result of this new wave of interest there were also two new Munster movies Here Come the Munsters (1995) and The Munsters’s Scary Little Christmas (1996).

A documentary on the show entitled The Munsters—America’s First Family of Fright ran on national television in 2003.


Anchors, William E., Jr. “The Munsters.” Epi-log 37 (December 1993): 36–43, 63.

Cox, Stephen. The Munsters: Television’s First Family of Fright. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1989. 174.

———. The Munsters: A Trip Down Mockingbird Lane. Back Stage Books, 2006. 204 pp.

Jones, Stephen. The Illustrated Vampire Movie Guide. London: Titan Books, 193. 144 pp.

The Munsters. Nos. 1–16. New York: Gold Key Comics, 1965–68.

The Munsters. Nos. 1–4. Bethel, CT: TV Comics, 1997–98.

Peel, John. The Addams Family and Munsters Program Guide. Virgin: London, 1996. 240 pp.

The Munsters and the Addams Family Fan Club see: Vampire Fandom: United States

The Vampire Book, Second Edition © 2011 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Plus there's plenty of friendly faces about including his second son, Luke, 33, who helps out behind the scenes, and wife Sandra and daughter, Kimberley, 27, who will be paying a visit this year along with her husband David and their six-month-old son Louis, dressed as a mini Grandpa Munster.
MINI GRANDPA MUNSTER: Six month old Louis Entry is pounds 3 per person and tickets can be bought at the Guisborough Forest and Walkway Visitor Centre at Pinchinthorpe.
AS EXCITING a folk band fronted by a blue faced 597-year-old vampire may sound, Abersoch's Al Lewis is, perhaps disappointingly, not the New York-born Grandpa Munster actor.
19 Who played Grandpa Munster in spoof horror series The Munsters?
Football manager Ron Greenwood, 84' Grandpa Munster actor Al Lewis, 82' Skytrain entrepreneur, Sir Freddie Laker, 83' Jaws author Peter Benchley, 65' McCloud star Dennis Weaver, 81.
Starsky and Hutch's red Gran Torino is there, alongside Back to the Future's silver De Lorean, Knight Rider's K.I.T.T, the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine and Grandpa Munster's coffin dragster.
A few days later, during the Latin American Festival, a friend pointed to an old man shuffling across the marble tiles of Havana's Hotel Nacional and said, "That's Grandpa Munster." (It was, indeed, actor and Green Party gubernatorial candidate Al Lewis.) Later that week, I listened to Harry Belafonte rail against a lack of press freedom in the United States--but not Cuba--and then found myself in the odd position of fighting with Matt Dillon for a taxi.
Above all the raised voices one stands out - 93-year-old Al Lewis, best known as Grandpa Munster, who's actively hawking his autograph like a market trader.
Move your tush, I got customers here!' Grandpa Munster is snapping at Sue from Oregon, an awkward, blushing fan on the wrong side of 40.
"On Bob Dole's bad days, he looked like Grandpa Munster. On his really bad days, he sounded like him." To anybody who remembers Al Lewis's role on The Munsters, Simon is saying that fatigue would cause Dole to grow a huge schnoz and adopt a Brooklyn accent.
A chap calling himself Baron Brockville wrote in this week to ask if I knew that Falkirk chief George Fulston used to be Grandpa Munster on TV.
While he continued on radio and TV and making special appearances as Grandpa Munster, Lewis became increasingly political, returning 52,000 votes for the Green Party when he stood for the governorship of New York in 1998.