Classic TV: So What’s Your Pleasure, the Addams Family or the Munster’s?
Growing up in the mid 1960's you had 2 choices: You were either a fan of 'The Addams Family' or 'The Munster's'. You picked one family of the other. Both were, uh, let's just say, unusual.
Both comedies rand from 1964-1966. Surprisingly, neither achieved the '100 episode' benchmark that most series shoot for, with The Addams Family being cancelled after 64 episodes and The Munster's dying after 70 shows. And yet they both live on in syndication (and great memories).
For me, it was 'The Munster's'. The biggest reason was it ran on CBS while 'The Addams Family' was an ABC show. In our little farmhouse in southwest Minnesota, we only got CBS and NBC on a reliable basis, so ABC was a tough sell for us!
'The Munster's' actually was doing pretty well until the advent of two things, 1) The premiere of 'Batman' and, 2) Color! Yes kids, there was a day when 'color' TV was a dream, a dream that came true for television series as we went through the 60's, and something that 'The Munster's' weren't. So with the superhero and his Boy Wonder sidekick in full 'living color' and beating back the villains, the demise of the Munster family occurred on May 12, 1966.
So whatever happened to the Munster's?
For the majority of the run, Pat Priest played 'Marilyn', the one normal member of the Munster clan. She is now 78 years old and retired from acting in the 1980's. (Beverly Owen played Marilyn in the first 13 episodes. She's 77 years old.)
Butch Patrick played our favorite little Munster Eddie. He's 61 now and still makes appearances around the country.
Grandpa was played by Al Lewis (you may remember him from 'Car 54, Where Are You?). With an acting career that spanned more than half a century, he passed away in 2006 at the age of 82.
Yvonne De Carlo was Herman's long suffering wife Lilly. With a hugely successful acting career that began in 1941, this Hollywood icon passed away in 2007 at the age of 84.
And the patriarch of the family, Herman, was portrayed by actor Fred Gwynne (and yes, another 'Car 54, Where Are You? alum). A respected and accomplished actor for over 40 years, Gwynne passed away from pancreatic cancer in 1993 at the age of 66.