For the next few weeks PopCult’s Sunday Evening Video will dig into a huge pile of unaired pilot episodes to bring you some of the strangest things you’ve never seen. Tonight we bring you the unaired pilot for The Munsters. Among the many differences you’ll notice from the familiar version is the fact that it’s in color, the theme song and set are different, and Lily is not Mrs. Munster. In this short pilot, Herman’s wife is played by Joan Marshall, she’s named “Phoebe,” and she looks a lot like Morticia Addams. There’s also a different actor playing Eddie Munster, and he plays him as a total brat. You’ll also notice that Herman’s make-up and personality were not quite refined yet.
This pilot was part of the pitch to CBS and with changes, it was picked up. The Munsters ran for two seasons on the network, but ran forever in syndication, with a feature-length film, several reunion shows and multiple reboots in its wake. Thye most recent attempt at a reboot, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, was dead on arrival, with the pilot being used as a Halloween special. Seth Myers is said to be developing yet another reboot, this time with the Munsters living in Brooklyn.
The story here is incomplete. It was partly reused as the series’ second episode.. Marilyn is played by Beverly Owen, who played the part on the first thirteen episodes of the series before she was recast with Pat Priest. It’s cool to see the characters in color, and interesting to see how they fixed almost everything that was wrong with the pilot before the show went into production. A second pilot, also unaired, was much close the The Munsters we all know and love.