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The Munsters



Tame '60s monster comedy is all about family.

What parents need to know

Positive messages


The series highlights the importance of family. It also features some traditional gender roles, which is typical of shows from the 1960s.

Positive role models

The Munsters are loving and respectful of one another. Grandpa occasionally tries to get something by being dishonest, but he's usually stopped by Herman or Lily.

Violence & scariness

Vague jokes about blood. Occasional encounters with bank robbers or other criminals. Rare episodes show a gun, but no one is ever seriously hurt.

Sexy stuff

Affection between Herman and Lily, who are married. Some episodes include romantic kissing. Marilyn sometimes dates or is pursued by men. It's all handled very chastely.

Not applicable

Several episodes involve money-making schemes.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Occasional episodes involve sleeping pills or potions that act in a drug-like manner.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this 1960s family sitcom features characters resembling those from classic horror stories like Frankenstein and Dracula. But despite the characters' unusual appearance, they're a pleasant, loving family. Occasional jokey references to blood, graves, or Mr. Munster's work at a funeral home is about as scary as the show gets -- though people often express fear when they meet the family, and many beat a hasty retreat. Herman and Lily show affection toward each other, and some episodes include romantic kisses.

Parents say

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What's the story?

THE MUNSTERS is a classic 1960s sitcom centered on an extended family whose members happen to resemble horror movie characters. Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) looks just like Frankenstein, while his wife Lily (Yvonne De Carlo) could be the Bride of Frankenstein's double. Grandpa (Al Lewis) is a vampire, and little Eddie (Butch Patrick) is a werewolf. Niece Marilyn (Pat Priest) also lives with the family, and she's the black sheep because her looks are so conventional.

Is it any good?


The primary conceit of the series (which debuted a week after the similarly themed Addams Family in 1964) is that the Munster family doesn't realize that they're unusual. Their lives are rather ordinary -- Herman works, Lily does housework (which involves making the house dirty, rather than clean), Eddie goes to elementary school, and Grandpa tinkers in the basement with his experiments. Each episode usually contains at least one interaction with the outside world. For instance, when Grandpa accidentally puts a Sleeping Beauty spell on Marilyn, the family puts an ad in the paper searching for a genuine prince to wake her with a kiss. Two actors show up expecting an audition for a theater part; when they realize their error, they retreat in horror -- much to the Munsters' surprise.

Aside from the fact that it embraces the traditional gender roles that were typical of the era, The Munsters is still clean, non-problematic family entertainment. Occasional arguments occur between Grandpa and Herman, but they typically involve one calling the other "goofball" and then sharing a giggle. And the show's general ghoulishness is entirely benign and will probably confuse or amuse very young viewers rather than frighten them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different kinds of families. Kids: Do you know any families that are nice even though they're very different from you and your parents? What makes them different? Do those differences affect what you think of them? What other people think of them? How are the Munsters similar to and different from your family? What fictional characters would play your family members, and why? Families can also discuss how values change over the years. What things do you notice characters in the show doing that aren't typically acceptable now? Why do you think that changed? What else has changed between now and 40 years ago (on TV and in general)?

TV details

Premiere date:September 24, 1964
Cast:Al Lewis, Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo
Networks:Syndicated, TV Land
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD

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Kid, 8 years old July 15, 2012


It was a bit scary in an episode but it was for humor.I still like it
Kid, 7 years old January 14, 2012

We love the Munsters!

This show is great for kids, my 7year old loves the Munsters, we watch and laugh together!
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMaster Chief - 117 April 9, 2008

The inly thing I'll watch thats black and white

Vary funny and the only thing wrong is that theres no color lol.