The Munsters have been periodically revived through the years in TV specials and even a clone series that tallied as many episodes as the original 1964 sitcom. The latest incarnation — notwithstanding a recent Hustler Video Classics-Gone-Porn version — was the 1996 Holiday TV Movie, The Munsters’ Scary Little Christmas, in which Grandpa’s experiments transport Santa Claus to 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
Critics were unimpressed. The best thing said about the show was that very young children might be entertained. At least the casting was inspired, with Sam McMurray valiantly channelling Fred Gwynne’s genius, Sandy Baron — a Catskills-trained comic — picking up for Al Lewis, and the formidable Ann Magnuson a good pick to essay Yvonne De Carlo’s Lily. The 91-minute special survives on DVD.
Staying in a Christmas mood, here’s a real treat: The original Munsters appearing in Macy’s Santa Claus Parade!
Up on YouTube is a wonderful vintage movie newsreel from 1964, Santa’s in Town, subtitled “Munsters Escort Kris in Parade”. Gwynne and Lewis appear in character, riding the Munsters Koach down Broadway. There are nice shots of the novelty car’s detailing, such as a spider and its web in a corner of the windshield.
Not sure, but I think the first shot might have been doctored by Universal’s special effects department, the film marquees whited out so as not to promote competitors’ films.
It’s a wonderful time machine glimpse of Macy’s parade 44 years ago, and its fun seeing Al Lewis having a ball in the city he loved.
The Munsters in Santa's in Town on YouTube.
Screencaps from The Munster’s Scary Little Christmas on Marky Munster’s elaborate fan site.