The secret meaning behind the 'Batman' reference in 'Munster, Go Home!'

Was the Caped Crusader a friend or foe to Herman Munster?

Munster, Go Home! is a 1966 comedy movie and an extension of the classic sitcom The Munsters. In it, Herman Munster and his family must travel to England to inspect a manor in Shroudshire that Herman stands to inherit. While the sitcom was filmed and presented in black-and-white, Munster, Go Home! gave audiences a chance to see some of their favorite characters in vibrant technicolor.

So why were the Munsters up on the big screen, anyway? There were lots of sitcoms in the '60s, but not all of them got their own movie.

Well, the movie was made, at least in part, due to The Munsters' cancellation. In 1966, the show's ratings meant that it was time for the studio to pull the plug on America's favorite fiendish family. Producers still hoped to introduce the characters to foreign audiences ahead of international syndication deals, so the movie was conceived and filmed so that global viewers could meet the Munsters.

Riddle me this: If there were such high hopes that audiences overseas would love Herman and company, why was the show canceled in the first place?

The answer, of course, is Batman

As it turns out, a lot of the crew involved in making The Munsters blamed Batman for their show's cancellation. The Caped Crusader was such a ratings juggernaut that Batman quickly overtook The Munsters, hogging up a viewing demographic that may have otherwise tuned in to watch Herman, Lilian, and Grandpa. In a Fox News exclusive, Butch Patrick, who played the adolescent Eddie Munster put it pretty bluntly. "I think Batman was to blame," said Patrick. "Batman just came along and took our ratings away."

So, fast-forward to Munster, Go Home! and observant viewers might notice a little wink-and-nudge reference to the Munster family's ratings woes. 

Herman and Grandpa get locked in a counterfeiting room during the movie's runtime. They shout for help and Herman says "Call Batman!" The cast was informed that The Munsters was canceled just one week prior to filming the movie. Apparently, the wound was still fresh in Herman's mind!

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17 Comments

harlow1313 7 months ago
I am skeptical. It is hardly a dig, more like a popular reference to please the audience.
dennydenco harlow1313 7 months ago
I agree. It’s a funny sounding line, but don’t believe it was a dig. Chances are, the script was written before cancellation…maybe.
cperrynaples 7 months ago
Did you know there's a Munsters movie on Netflix? It's produced by Rob Zombie and omits Eddie & Marilyn! However, the actors who played those roles in the '60's have cameos!
Couldn't make it through that one.
BrittReid cperrynaples 7 months ago
Give us your review, as ratings will be down.
Because it absolutely SUCKS.
MrsPhilHarris 7 months ago
I wonder why the network didn’t try moving the show to a different time? 🤔
I suspect CBS didn't think it would work in color! Even this movie is kinda awkward, especially with a third Marilyn!
PS A color pilot was shot for NBC but was rejected in part because the Eddie actor was horrible and the Lily actress looked too much like Carolyn Jones!
I like the show in b&w.
cperrynaples 7 months ago
Bonus Question: what dead sitcom got a shoutout? Hint: 2 stars were in it! Hard bonus: Name both sitcoms that featured Debbie Watson, the Marilyn in this movie!
Moverfan cperrynaples 6 months ago
Car 54, Where Are You?
Stoney 7 months ago
Didn't the cast of The Addams Family make a similar complaint about Batman?
cperrynaples Stoney 7 months ago
No, they were on the same network [ABC}! In fact, both John Astin & Carolyn Jones were villians! And let's not forget Lurch did a window scene!
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