The first season opening credits were an outrageous parody of the opening credits of The Donna Reed Show (1958), which always began with Donna Reed lovingly passing out lunches to her departing family members as they left the house one by one. Yvonne De Carlo, as Lily Munster, did the same thing.
The show was shot in black and white because the studio did not want to pay an extra $10,000 per episode for color.
The character 'Herman Munster' was ranked #19 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).
The original pilot The Munsters: My Fair Munster: Unaired Pilot (2004) was partially shot on the set of the film Psycho (1960).
Other members of the Munster family were Lily's brother (and Grandpa's son) a werewolf named Lester and Uncle Gilbert, the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
There was only one Drag-U-La (Grandpa's coffin car,) built for the show. At one time it hung from the ceiling in Planet Hollywood in Atlantic City. It was restored and resides somewhere near Orlando, FL. There have been several replicas built since.
The uncredited voice of The Raven was supplied by Mel Blanc. On the rare occasions Blanc was unavailable, the Raven's voice was supplied by Bob Hastings.
Grandpa (played by Al Lewis, born in 1923) was one year younger than his "daughter" Lily (played by Yvonne De Carlo, born in 1922). Herman was the youngest adult (played by Fred Gwynne, born in 1926).
This show and its "rival" series The Addams Family (1964) both debuted within a week of one another in September 1964. At the end of that year's TV season, this show ranked #18 in the Nielsens, with a rating of 24.7, while The Addams Family came in at #23, with a 23.9 rating. At the time, Nielsens indicated what percentage of American TV households tuned in to any given program. By the end of the following year, both series were cancelled.
Grandpa's Drag-u-la racer was only used in the first season's The Munsters: Hot Rod Herman (1965), despite being shown in the end credits of every 2nd season episode. It also appeared in the movie Munster, Go Home! (1966).
The unaired pilot of the series - The Munsters: My Fair Munster: Unaired Pilot (2004) - was in color.
Beverley Owen played the part of Marilyn for the first 13 episodes. She was in love with her fiancée in New York and agreed to do the show thinking it would be a flop from the outlandish premise. When it became a hit, she was constantly crying from having to be in LA while her boyfriend Jon Stone was in New York. The other cast members asked the producers to release her from her contract so she could get married and they did. She was replaced by Pat Priest, who looked so much like Beverly Owen, viewers never knew the difference. Beverley Owen would get divorced from Jon Stone eight years later, and would never appear on screen again after those initial 13 episodes.
Fred Gwynne wore foam rubber padding as part of his costume under his outer suit. He drank large amounts of lemonade on the set from the massive sweating from the padding and suit. He lost quite a bit of weight while doing the show.
Contrary to popular belief, The Munsters were not the first couple on TV to share a bed. It was real-life couple Mary Kay Stearns and John Stearns on their show Mary Kay and Johnny (1947) in the late 1940s.
Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) recorded a pop record to the tune of "The Munsters" theme in the early '80s called "What Ever Happened to Eddie?" as Eddie and the Monsters.
After the pilot was filmed, CBS execs insisted on re-casting the role of Lily Munster. Initially, both Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis balked at the notion of the part going to Yvonne De Carlo, thinking she'd have a haughty attitude, pretty much a diva, due to her past Hollywood presence. However, later both Gwynne and Lewis agreed De Carlo was a great comedic actress.
The Munster coach was actually a combination of two cars that Lily had especially built as a gift for Herman's birthday.
The house that would later become Munster House first made an appearance in an episode of Leave It to Beaver (1957). Producers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher created both series.
Fred Gwynne played dual roles in two episodes: in The Munsters: Knock Wood, Here Comes Charlie (1964) as Herman's twin brother Charlie and in The Munsters: A Visit from Johann (1966) as a reject creation of Doctor Frankenstein's named Johann.
Bill Mumy was the original choice for Eddie Munster, but his parents didn't approve of the extensive makeup that would be used for his character. He would eventually guest on The Munsters: Come Back, Little Googie (1965), playing an incorrigible brat, during the first season.
Initially, Fred Gwynne did his own stunt work on the Munsters however, after falling flat on his back (which was the plan) and dismantling his head set, the studio hired Bill Foster (also known as Jeff County) as stunt double for Fred Gwynne. Fred Gwynne and Bill Foster met at Universal Studios when Bill (a security guard for Universal and an accomplished musician) saw Fred attempting to play a guitar one day and offered a few lessons.
This series' title was supposedly derived from combining the words "fun" and "monsters".
For the first 13 episodes, in which Beverley Owen played Marilyn, Fred Gwynne appeared last in the opening credits. When Owen left the show to get married, she was replaced by Pat Priest and the sequence had to be re-shot, Gwynne appeared first in the credits. Since there were no further cast changes for the second season, the credits remained in that order for the remainder of the series.
Beverley Owen, who played Marilyn Munster in the first 13 episodes, is a natural brunette. She wore a wig, and her hairline was often covered up by a headband. Pat Priest, who played Marilyn for the remainder of the series, is a natural blonde, so that is her natural hair.
Joan Marshall played Phoebe Munster, Herman's wife, in the unaired 15-minute pilot The Munsters: My Fair Munster: Unaired Pilot (2004). She looked very similar to Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams of The Addams Family (1964).
The Munster Koach and the Dragula car were both built by Hollywood car customizer George Barris.
Whenever he gives his birth country, Grandpa always says he was born in the Holy Roman Empire. According to Bram Stoker's 1897 book, Dracula was born in the Holy Roman Empire in modern day Romania.
Although Al Lewis's character Grandpa is often colloquially referred to as "Grandpa Munster" this is incorrect, he is Lily's father and his surname is Dracula. Grandpa Munster would refer to Herman's never-seen adoptive father. However, Lily's sister's daughter Marilyn was Marilyn Munster, possibly by adoption.
Lily Munster's original first name was Phoebe in the unaired pilot The Munsters: My Fair Munster: Unaired Pilot (2004).
The name of the funeral parlor Herman worked for was Gateman, Goodbury and Graves, with John Carradine playing Mr. Gateman.
Although Bud Westmore is credited as make up artist on each installment of The Munsters, he merely supervised Universal's makeup department at the time. The actual, uncredited work was done by Karl Silvera (Herman's make-up and appliances) Perc Westmore (Grandpa), Abe Haberman (Lily) and Michael Westmore (Marilyn and Eddie).
The exterior facade of the Munster house was originally built for the movie So Goes My Love (1946).
During the filming of the second season, Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis were unhappy about the direction the show had taken. They wanted a more subtle kind of comedy to be added into the scripts.
According to Stephen Cox who wrote a book on the sitcom, Fred Gwynne refused to talk about Herman Munster or the show in general.
Eddie's pet dragon that lived under the stairs was named Spot. A full body for the dragon was never built. Only his head could be seen, when the staircase was opened, often combined with him breathing fire, and sometimes his tail section was visible on a few occasions. In the failed remake/reboot Mockingbird Lane (2012), Spot was shown in his full appearance.
Herman's boss Mr. Gateman was often discussed but appeared in only two episodes. He was played by John Carradine in The Munsters: Herman's Raise (1965) and The Munsters: The Musician (1966). Carradine reappeared in Munster, Go Home! (1966) as Cruikshank the butler, and was famous outside the Munster universe for playing Doctor Frankenstein, Count Dracula, and other horror icons.
In the opening titles, Lily Munster hands Herman an executive briefcase before he leaves for work, when in fact, Herman is very rarely seen with it and mostly a carries blue-collar lunch pail.
Yvonne De Carlo wasn't sure about accepting the role of Lily Munster. When she did and was asked why she took a role on TV, the actress stated that she needed the money.
The nearly blind family doctor Edward Dudley is played by two actors over the course of the series: Paul Lynde in three first-season episodes, and Dom DeLuise in The Munsters: Just Another Pretty Face (1966).
The set of dishes used on the show are called Willow (or Blue Willow) and were designed in England in the late 18th century.
Nate Derman was replaced because his portrayal of Eddie was thought 'too aggressive'.
Initially, there was a bit of tension on the set. Yvonne De Carlo - having been a successful film star - was prone to bouts of prima donna behaviour. She used to keep everyone waiting before deciding when to exit her dressing room and come to the set for filming. Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis grew tired of this and finally stood their ground against DeCarlo. Soon after, the actress became more co-operative.
Bonnie Franklin, who appeared in The Munsters: Herman's Sorority Caper (1966) as "Janice," later directed episodes of The Munsters Today (1987).
According to Herman's driver's license, his date of birth is 06/21/1815 making him 150 years old. Interestingly enough, June 21st is the summer solstice, or the longest "day" of the year containing the most sunlight. Grandpa is a vampire and they traditionally hate sunlight.
Eddie's stuffed wolf was named Woof-Woof. In the german dubbed version of The Munsters movie, the wolf was called Wumpy Pumpy.
This series and it's 'rival' one, The Addams Family (1964), have probably had more comparisons (due to their similarities) than any other two 'rival' shows in TV history.