John Carradine's first appearance as Herman's boss Mr. Gateman
THE MUNSTERS might have cast John Carradine as Herman rather than rubber faced Fred Gwynne, had not his role in Jerry Lewis' "The Patsy" prevented him from auditioning in March 1964. His wallet's loss was the show's gain, but he was called upon for the part of Herman's boss at the funeral parlor of Gateman, Goodbury and Graves, only appearing in two episodes but making the most of it both times. "Herman's Raise" finds poor Herman at a loss when Lily insists he demand a raise from Mr. Gateman, promptly returning home unemployed at midday despite 17 years of faithful service. Reluctant to spill the beans about being fired, he conspires to find a new job every morning until the day of reckoning arrives by week's end. Too incompetent to hack it as a sparring partner, construction worker, dock worker, or Chinese laundry attendant (Benny Rubin the beleaguered proprietor), the truth comes out when Lily phones the mortuary and decides to pay a visit to Mr. Gateman. Carradine is a delight with hair parted down the middle, politely listening to Lily's stirring defense of her husband's devotion: "you parlor has become his home away from home...Lily he said, that place really grabs me!" Gateman's answer is priceless: "that's quite a compliment but he demanded an increase in salary, I'm afraid down here we're not used to raising people!" Lily tugs at the heartstrings when she reveals how Herman looks up to his employer as a father figure, 'Da Da Gateman!' It's enough to bring tears to the eyes and Herman's job is secure: "I mustn't cry any more, there's a big affair at the cemetery this afternoon and I can't afford to show up dry!" It's a magnificent cameo, short and sweet, his deadpan delivery a fine match with frequent costar Yvonne De Carlo ("The Ten Commandments," "Nocturna"), paving the way for one further appearance in "The Musician."
- Jul 25, 2020
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