Showing posts with label The Munsters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Munsters. Show all posts

Monday, February 12, 2018

When Linus Met Sally and Other Famous Fictional Couples


You have to be pretty hard-hearted to not get a least a little lump in your thought when you think of some of fictional couples. But have you ever stopped to think just how these crazy lovebirds ever got together? The answers may surprise you.

Linus and Sally
Linus Van Pelt and Sally Brown
According to the comic strip, Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally was born on May 26, 1959 where Charlie marked the occasion by passing out chocolate cigars to his friends. She grew up quickly. She took her first steps on August 22, 1960 and she fell in love with Linus, Lucy’s brother, on the next day. It was love at first sight, at least on her part. Sally has often referred to Linus as her “Sweet Baboo.” Her dedication to her man seems endless. She has missed out on “tricks and treats” by sitting in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin and she was incensed that Linus would snub her a Valentine’s gift in favor for his teacher, Miss Othmar. Still, she clings hopelessly in love with the stripe t-shirt-wearing Linus.

I Dream of Jeannie
Tony and Jeannie Nelson
The astronaut Captain Tony Nelson met Jeannie on a deserted island in the South Pacific on September 18, 1965 in the premiere episode of I Dream of Jeannie. Nelson’s one-man Stardus One space capsule landed far from the planned recovery site where he found a strange bottle. He opened the bottle releasing a genie who had been trapped inside for 2,000 years. At first, the two could not communicate until he wished that they could. Unbeknownst to Tony, Jeannie rolled her bottle into his duffle bag and “followed” him home. At the time, Tony was engaged to his commanding general’s daughter, Melissa Stone, but the two broke up.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Inside the Real Munster Mansion

The McKee's real "Munster Mansion"
The McKee's "Munster Mansion" (Photo: Munster Mansion Facebook page)


When you were a kid watching reruns of The Munsters TV series, did you ever wonder what it would be like to actually live in that spooky old house? So did Charles and Sandra McKee. So much so, that they transformed their Texas home into a real Munster Mansion. This labor of love for the TV show began in 2002 and the couple have added on more props and detail every year with the goal of creating the most accurate replica of the mansion, which hasn’t been an easy task since they had no plans or blueprints to go by. In fact, the only real tool they had was their TV set where they would sit and watch (and re-watch) many episodes of the show for reference. The end result is amazing. You’d swear that you’re looking at sets from the Universal lot where the show was filmed, but no, they are actually taken from inside the McKee’s home. Many pieces in the house were actually used on The Munsters TV show.

Related: Whatever Happened to Eddie Munster: Interview

The McKee's Munster Mansion living room
The McKee's real living room. (Photo: Munster Mansion Facebook page)
The McKee’s offer an “open house” event once a year as a charity event but other than special private events, the couple ask for privacy. “Though we do host events from time to time and the annual open house, this is not a open tourist attraction. We are only open the one time a year. Any other time is strictly by invitation,” says the McKee’s on their website. “We do live here, just like you live in your place the rest of the year. Please respect our privacy as you would your neighbor.”

For reference, the Munster Mansion is located at 3636 FM 813 in Waxahachie, Texas and is said to be located on a dangerous road with no street parking available. Fortunately, their McKee’s website features a photo gallery of all of the rooms.

Related: The Munsters You Didn't See - Video of the Day

The original Munster Mansion was built in 1946 long before the show began in 1964. It was built for the romantic film So Goes My Love. It was reused for a number of other Universal films before it was “aged” and worn down for The Munsters. It still sits on the lot of Universal Studios in California, however you’d probably never recognize it since the studio has given the house many facelifts over the years. Since The Munsters went off the air, it has been featured in number of other TV series and movies including Coach, Desperate Housewives, Dragnet and The Burbs.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for October 5

"Dr. No" premiered in theaters on October 5, 1962.

Bond, James Bond, Comes to Theaters

While Casino Royale was the first novel written about James Bond, it was Dr. No that began the movie franchise. Based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, Dr. No was released into theaters on this day in 1962. Directed by Terence Young and filmed in both Jamaica and England, the movie starred Sean Connery in the title role along with Ursula Andress and Joseph Wiseman. The low budget film was a big financial success and was the first to introduce the character through the view of a gun barrel. It is hard believe that Connery wasn’t the studio’s first choice for the character. Producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli initially wanted Cary Grant for the role, but he would only commit to one feature film. Other choices included Richard Johnson, Patrick McGoohan and David Niven. As for Fleming, he wanted to see Richard Todd in the role. To make Andress appear more Jamaican, she was painted with a dark tan and her thick Swiss German accent was re-dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl. In 2012, 50 years after the film debuted, Eon Productions proclaimed the date as “Global James Bond Day.” It was also the day that the song, “Skyfall," from the 2012 James Bond film of the same name, was released.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The 5 Best TV Theme Songs of All Time


If you are of a certain age, you remember when TV theme songs actually meant something. Unlike many of today's themes that air for ten seconds or less, these classics would play for at least a minute before the show would begin and the song would stick in your head for days to come. Very few shows do that today and many (like the CSI franchise) have borrowed music from other sources. While we all have our favorites for one reason or another, here are five of the very best with the actual songs:

Mission: Impossible's classic theme song
Mission: Impossible
Composter Lalo Schifrin has said that it took all of three minutes to write the iconic theme song of Mission: Impossible. However, in a recent interview for the New York Post he said that he told a different tale in the 60's: “I was in Vienna and at a press conference and one lady asked me why I wrote Mission: Impossible in 5/4 [tempo]. I said, ‘Everybody knows that there have been beams from outer space coming because of interplanetary flights. The people in outer space have five legs and couldn’t dance to our music, so I wrote this for them.' The lady believed it. “All the magazines in Vienna published it . . . my European agent called me and said, ‘What are you trying to do?!’ ”

In addition to this masterpiece, Schifrin has written theme music for many movies and other TV shows including The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mannix, Medical Center and Starsky and Hutch. Ironically, Schifirin has never won an Emmy for his work. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for September 24

"60 Minutes" debuted on September 24, 1968.

'60 Minutes' Begins Ticking

Fifty years ago today the stopwatch first began ticking on the CBS news program 60 Minutes in 1968. The magazine-styled show was created by Don Hewitt which began as a bi-weekly program that was hosted by Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace. The show also featured Morley Safer, Dan Rather, Water Cronkite, Charles Kuralt, Roger Mudd, Bill Plante and Eric Sevareid. In addition to the three long-format news stories, the show often included a Point/Counterpoint segment featuring James J. Kilpatrick representing conservative views and Nicholas von Hoffman representing liberal views on a different topic each week. Beginning in 1978 and stretching all the way to 2011, many of the shows ended with “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” who often ranted about a variety of topics but usually with a comical tone.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The 'Munsters' You Didn't See - Video of the Day


Those who consider themselves fans of The Munsters maybe surprised to learn that the show we got was a little different in its early stages. Here are the opening scenes and credits for the unaired pilot of the series that features Joan Marshall as "Phoebe" instead of Yvonne DeCarlo as "Lily" and Happy Derman instead of Butch Patrick as "Eddie." Oh, and it was in color too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Whatever Happened to Eddie Munster?

Butch Patrick then and now
Butch Patrick the and now. 


A funny thing happened about a week ago. I was reporting that COZI TV was doing a Munsters marathon during Halloween weekend and since I’m a huge fan of the classic show, I also wrote about various trivia about the show. The story had only been live for a few hours when I received an email from Liela Lilley, the wife of Butch Patrick who played the role of Eddie Munster in the series. She informed me that Butch owns both the Munster Koach and Dragula Tribute cars (the family’s vehicles in the TV series) and has a new show in the works called Property Horrors. She also offered me an interview with Butch. Of course I jumped at the chance.

To my surprise and delight, Butch is a super-nice guy and though he’s been asked the same questions a bazillion times before, he was still very chatty with me about his early days in Hollywood. As you can see from his photos, he still has a full head of hair, though he doesn't sport a widow's peak as many of us would have assumed.

While best known for playing Eddie Munster, Butch appeared in many TV series before and after The Munsters was on the air. His first uncredited role was in The Detectives in 1961. He played Greg Howard in The Real McCoys in 1963 and appeared in many small roles before becoming Eddie in 1966. The Munsters only aired for two years and was a competitor to The Adams Family. Ironically, he played Pugsley for the TV movie, The Addams Family Fun House in 1973. He also played Gordon Dearing on My Three Sons. But what might surprise you is that Butch also played the lead role in the obscure Sid and Marty Krofft production of Lidsville in 1971 with Charles Nelson Reilly and Billie Hayes. If you’ve ever seen the show, you know that it’s about a teen who finds himself trapped in a land that is inhabited by talking hats. Sort of like Alice in Wonderland.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Munsters Reunite Tonight


Just in time for the weekend before Halloween, NBC will air a new holiday special with hopes of making it a permanent new series. Mockingbird Lane will air tonight at 8:00 p.m. on NBC. If the title sounds at all familiar to you, it could be because that is the address of the family featured in the 1960’s TV show, The Munsters.

Yes, NBC is trying out yet another reboot of an old TV show, but unlike its try at The Bionic Woman and Night Rider, this looks like it just might make it. Forget TV’s others tries at remaking the Munsters over the years – this version takes the initial concept and gives it a whole new look. Herman Munster for instance is a lot better looking this time around.

If you were not a fan of the original series, you probably won’t be impressed with the new version either, however, if you WERE a fan, this might not be your cup of tea either. Mockingbird Lane has a fresh new approach based on Bryan Fuller’s (Pushing Daisies and Heroes) script and the pilot was directed by executive producer, Bryan Singer (X-Men and TV’s House). The plot is said to be a remained version of the cult comedy that is less slap-sticky and has a darker edge. While the original show was family-friendly, this new one maybe too intense for young ones. It is also hard to tell how macabre it will be. Innocent fun or a darker message? We shall see.

Mockingbird Lane features an excellent cast including Jerry O’Connell as Herman, Portia de Rossi as his wife Lily, Eddie Izzard as Grandpa, Mason Cook as Eddie and Charity Wakefield as the “creepy” Marilyn.

With all the updates, one can only hope that they kept the same theme song.