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It can't be any worse than The Munsters Today, the mercifully ill-fated 1987 syndicated attempt to reassemble the family. Even John Schuck's furrowed brow and malleable jaw, so well put to use as the Painless Pole in Altman's MASH*, were no match for Fred Gwynne's guileless ghoul. The nicest thing to be said as far as Lee Meriwether's vamp on Lily goes: they got the shroud right. And Howard Morton?! He's not fit to line Al Lewis' coffin!

Why did I get so excited when Hollywood Deadline reported Bryan Fuller, producer of Pushing Daisies, has a reboot of The Munsters on the "script-to-series track" (I love borrowing insider jargon) at NBC? Fuller promises more than just different actors donning recognizable garb. While it shops short of CG Munsters (Rise of the Planet of The Munsters?), from the sound of things, he's bringing urbane gentrification to Mockingbird Heights.

What is the point of simply recasting the classic '60's sitcom in modern terms? Grandpa Al did just fine, thank you, with a divining rod set to "Girls" and a pocket filled with Frank Sinatra pills, who cares how this 21st Century vampire copes with modern technology? In Fuller's version Grandpa, the mad scientist, and even madder patriarch of the Dracula clan, slapped Herman together because no man was good enough for his daughter, Lily. When pre-pubescent Eddie's lycanthropic tendencies began to emerge, the family was forced to take up residence in the remote California community.

You caught my attention, Bryan, but it's network TV. Low production values, a few funny situations repeated ad nausea throughout the course of the show's run, etc. What are the chances it's going to be any good? For years, my writing partner and I have been kicking around the idea of a Munsters movie (not a remake of Munster, Go Home). I'm not going to publicly spill our slant, but it's definitely unique, definitely original, and one that would please both devotees of the series and contemporary audiences out for a good laugh at the movies. We'd even agree to write it with a PG-13 in mind, that's how confidant I am this version would hit big. Hire Joe Dante to direct and it's an out-of-the-park grand slam. Seriously, we have it all worked out. Lunch is on you.

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Comments

glasgow81 Nov. 8, 2011 @ 10 a.m.

Sorry but the original cast of The Munsters were so tired and over the hill in 'Munsters Revenge' that they simply had to be replaced for "The Munsters Today", which was a funny and fresh take on the long since dead Munster format. I'm a fan of the original show as well as the remake series, and I hate people who slate the 80's reincarnation, which was by-the-way actually from 1988 NOT 1987 as the person who wrote this "article" seems to have been mistaken. I also thought Lee Meriwether was a more pleasant Lily, and Howard Morton even as stated by Al Lewis himself was a "really good Grandpa".

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Scott Marks Nov. 8, 2011 @ 2:42 p.m.

The pilot episode of "The Munsters Today" ("Still the Munsters After All These Years") ran in 1987, but the series wasn't picked up until 1988. Technically, the show aired from 1987 - 1991. Sorry if I sullied your integrity by being foolish enough to champion originality over imitation. If I want aged Brie, I'm not going to settle for a can of aerosol cheese, and that goes double for Howard Morton.

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John71471 Nov. 8, 2011 @ 10:06 a.m.

Would you get Brad Garrett to play Herman? I'm sorry, but that's the role the man was born to play. Have you heard his impression? I understand he's looking for work as well.

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Scott Marks Nov. 8, 2011 @ 2:43 p.m.

I've always fancied Nicole Bass in the role of Herman.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 8, 2011 @ 4:06 p.m.

Believe it or not Nicole Bass back in the mid/late 1980's would workout at Gold's Gym in Pacific Beach from time to time when she was in So Cal, for whatever reason, and although she was tall and fairly muscular, indicating she was taking at least some minor amouts of the bodybuilding drugs, she looked nothing like she did 10 years later when she started showing up on the Howard Stern radio show that they broadcasted on E! at 11PM.......her face had become very masculine and distorted at that point......she must have been hitting the gas pretty hard to look like Lou's smaller brother.........

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Scott Marks Nov. 8, 2011 @ 4:54 p.m.

Wait -- you're a Stern fan, too, Surf?

BROTHER!!!

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 8, 2011 @ 5:45 p.m.

I LOVED to watch Howard Stern on E! The BEST episode ever was when Cindy Margolis had a friend with her (who had a SMOKING body) and they stripped down to their bras and poured water on themselves......the BEST episode ever....Cindy was on Stern pretty often but she must have been very jealous of her buddy because her buddy never showed up again with her-our loss!...... Cindy had her own E! show which came on after Howard, but it didn't last too long.

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Scott Marks Nov. 8, 2011 @ 6:13 p.m.

Grate minds, eh, Surf? I am a student of Beetlejuice, the Performance Artist of Eternity.

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Colonna Nov. 9, 2011 @ 3:05 a.m.

The Howard Stern WOR-TV show had some of the best comedy he ever did.

Didn't someone here have ALL of them on VHS tape?

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Ghost_of_dolores_hope Nov. 11, 2011 @ 3:57 p.m.

Why does NBC wanna f*#% a good thing up? What are Frank Sinatra pills?

Just read the Barbara 'Marx' Sinatra book. It's pretty bad, despite a couple of Groucho mentions, as well as Frank's temper tantrums.

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Scott Marks Nov. 14, 2011 @ 10:31 a.m.

Grandpa helps Herman get even with Lily's alleged flirtation by slipping his son-in-law a couple of FS pills. I thinks it's the "Lily Munster, Girl Model" episode, but don't quote me.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 14, 2011 @ 11:56 a.m.

George Barris, who built the Munster Mobile along with a ton of other cars, has his birthday coming up this Sunday!

here is a pic on his FaceBook page

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1613599357504&set=a.1175821413329.19882.1761908727&type=1&ref=nf

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Scott Marks Nov. 14, 2011 @ 3:12 p.m.

She's one Priest I wouldn't mind patting.

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