Saturday, August 13, 2011

THE MUNSTERS - Jack Marshall - "If A Martian Answers, Hang Up!" (1965)

One of THE greatest TV shows ever produced, "The Munsters" ran for 72 episodes from 1964 to 1966!! Tonight's episode was Season 1, Episode 18, and was titled "If A Martian Answers, Hang Up" and I think was the closest they ever got to any real science fiction!

The theme and other incidental music for "The Munsters" was created by Mr. Jack Marshall, a gifted composer and excellent guitarist! It all makes sense, since "The Munsters" theme is driven by a guitar riff! in 1959, Jack Marshall composed the music for the Dungeon Classic, "The Giant Gila Monster!" Jack worked with jazz greats Jack Sheldon, Howard Roberts, and Shelly Manne, among others, and wrote the arrangement for Peggy Lee's überclassic version of "Fever," using only percussion, bass and finger snaps!! What a talent!!

Every guy needs a hobby, and Herman Munster is no exception, so he got himself a two-way ham radio operator's license! He tries singing "My Mother's Eyes" over the airwaves to see if he can attract some attention!

Butch Patrick as the iconic Eddie doesn't have much of a role in this episode, except to introduce the friends he's become bored with! Butch put together the band called "Eddie and the Monsters" in 1983 and released the cult classic "What Ever Happened to Eddie?" with some success, but it's been a topsy-turvy world for him for quite some time!

After Eddie bugs out on them, Ronnie Dapo as Roger, and Pat Rosson as Walt, pick up a signal on their walkie talkies from Herman! Unlike Butch, both Ronnie and Pat were at the tail ends of their acting careers, and would call it quits by the following year!

Herman thinks he has made contact with Martians, and attempts to arrange another talk session as the boys have to scamper off to dinner!!

Herman is so excited he's made contact with Martians, he can't sleep, so Lily tries to console him!

Either Margaret, or Peggy Yvonne Middleton, depending on who you talk to, Miss Venice Beach 1938, changed her name to Yvonne De Carlo and haphazardly ended up as the iconic Lily Munster! It's said that Yvonne had six hobbies, spending time with her family, golfing, dancing, drinking wine, listening to music, and singing! Now that's my kind of woman!

She also does a very good job of ringing Herman's bells, if you get my drift!

Al Lewis as Grandpa has a digital divining rod that he offers up to try and find the Martian spaceship! I love the fact that the divining rod has a setting for finding "girls!"

That darned old Grandpa, he set the divining rod on water instead of flying objects, so Herman just finds himself a faceful of sewer water instead!

While out looking for the Martians, Herman and Grandpa stumble onto the kids, who just happen to now be in costume, and have a cool inflatable flying saucer, so now both Herman and Grandpa are 100% totally convinced that Martians have indeed landed on earth!

Herman takes a picture so they can report it to the authorities! Can you believe how difficult it was back then just to take a simple picture??

Grandpa tries to alert the military to the imposing danger, but imagine this, Herbert "Brewster's Millions" Rudley, as Captain Halbert, doesn't believe poor Grandpa, and thinks he's some kind of a kook!!

Dort "Wonderful Town" Clark as Mr. Andrews, knows how to take care of preverts on the phone! With a name like Dort, you've got to be tough! "I'm going to break your arm off, and shove it down your throat!"

As always, after the smoke clears, and everybody settles down, life is back to normal, and Herman is just trying to find some music by Lawrence Welk when he gets a message from a real Martian! Once bitten, twice shy Herman is not about to fall for it a second time! Along with Eddie, Pat Priest as Marilyn Munster has only a small role in this episode!

"My, those earth people are getting rude!" If the Martian looks familiar, it's because he's the same as the Helosian from season one, episode 7 of "The Outer Limits's" called "O.B.I.T." that you see in the piture below, and if you don't believe me, you can watch it for free (with commercials), on "Hulu"..... clicking right about HERE!

I'll leave you with this great poster where it looks like Fred's waving you a fond farewell, from the 1966 Munsters full length movie called "Munster, Go Home!"


prof. grewbeard said...

this was a great episode! watching this show as a kid was a different experience because there was an actual feeling of creepiness along with the humor, but it's all for laffs now. you know what this means though- you have to do an episode of The Addams Family for equal time!...

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

That's true, "The Addams Family" deserves it's just desserts too! One of these days.......

Douglas McEwan said...

I always felt The Addams Family was superior to The Munsters. Better, wittier writing. My mother put her finger on one big difference which mostly nailed why she would only watch The Addams: The Munsters tossed insults and put-downs about in normal sit-com style. Lily semeed to spend half her time scolding her husband and her father. On the other hand, Morticia and Gomez were so madly in love with each other, they could barely keep their hands off of each other. The Addams Family NEVER insulted, put-down, or scolded each other. They were this screwy-but-loving family. (Mother's other reason for preferring the Addams was that, frankly, she had the hots for John Astin's Gomez. He rang her chimes. My dad just sat there and ignored her when she spoke French.)

I was present for the shooting of a Munsters TV special at Marineland in 1966, where I met Fred, Al, and Yvonne, all in full make-up and costume. Fred was VERY nice to me. Wonderful, warm, talented man. (The biggest asset The Munsters had was its talented three leads.) Give me an email address to send to, and I'll email you the two photos I have that I took that day, color snaps of them in full Munster drag, shooting this special.

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