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Butch Patrick - actor, Eddie Munster on TV's original "The Munsters"
May 2000 - Motor City Comic Con - Detroit, MI

One of the most creative comedies, if not horror-based, on TV during the 1960s was The Munsters. Eddie Munster, the youngest child of the coolly creepy family, was portrayed by Butch Patrick. The Munsters, still being shown on various cable channels around the world, still holds up as one of the best television sitcoms ever filmed. I had a chance to meet Butch Patrick at the Detroit Motor City Comic Con in May, 2000. Butch had only a few minutes to spare for an interview but was generous enough to give me some insight to The Munsters. He was a very personable guy and very friendly to all of his fans as they requested his autographs and photos.

K2K: What are some of your favorite memories with The Munsters?
BP: Most of my memories weren't really while filming but running around the back lot, going to the laboratory, where they were making all of the monsters for the other movies, in the make-up department, and the special effects department. That's what I enjoyed.

K2K: What was it like riding on the Munster Koach?
BP: It was very cool, especially the seat that I had up in the back, way up high, like a little perch. The car was really loud and was pretty fast. We really enjoyed riding it.

K2K: Did you only drive 50 feet or so during the filming or did you get to drive all over in it?
BP: Fred [Gwynne] actually drove it off the lot one time onto the Hollywood Boulevard. It was really cool. We took off and came back. A nice little joy ride.

K2K: Where is the Munster Koach today?
BP: It's in George Barris' shop in North Hollywood.

K2K: Where is the Dragula?
BP: It's in Mark Martins' Daytona U.S.A car museum.

K2K: I'd read somewhere that Al Lewis drove the Dragula. He almost suffocated in the initial run because the exhaust came through the floorboards. Did that happen?
BP: You know, Al didn't drive it. He never drove it. They had a stand-in that would be dressed like Grandpa [Al Lewis]. Al had a thing where it said that he didn't drive, so he got limousine service to the studio every day. So, because he told them he didn't drive, it was just his little way of getting a limo every morning.

K2K: How long did it take Fred Gwynne to get into the Munster Koach?
BP: Surprisingly, not long. He was pretty nimble in that suit. He would take off his big shoes, obviously, and drive with slippers on. He could get in and out of it pretty quickly. His knees were up to his ears, as the steering column came straight up through the floorboard.

K2K: What happened to your favorite toy "Woof Woof" [Eddie's teddy-wolfman}?
BP: "Woof Woof" is living in Phoenix, AZ at a friend of mine's house. He's a collector. I sold it to him on the arrangement that he would make the after-market "Woof Woof" dolls that we sell. We've sold sixty-eight or sixty-nine of them over the last ten years at $1,200 per piece.

K2K: Do you still keep in touch with any of the old cast?
BP: Yes. Al Lewis and I see Pat [Priest} Bruce quite often. I've been to her house in Haley, Idaho. I also see her on the road when we do conventions.

K2K: How many conventions do you do per year? How do you like meeting fans?
BP: Well, I enjoy meeting the fans. That's always great. The show [The Munsters} has endured really well. A lot of kids are watching the show with their parents and grandparents. I do maybe ten shows per year.

K2K: Why do you supposed The Munsters still holds up today as opposed to other sitcoms?
BP: I think that the concept was really unique in itself. It is a one-of-a-kind show. Nothing has ever been done since or like it. The writing was very funny. I think it was very quality, comedic talent. Fred {Gwynne} and Al {Lewis} worked very well together. I'll match some of the best scripts that we did with any of the funniest episodes against any show ever done. There were some actual pure classics. All of them were good but there are a few, that really stood out, that were pure gems.

K2K: My favorite episode was with a rock band called "The Standells."
BP: Standells, yes. That was a good one. My favorite one was when I grew a beard. It was called "Eddie's Nickname", with Paul Lynde who was "Mr. Dudley". [It's} where I went to the doctor's office with a paper bag over my head because Herman was embarrassed to be seen with a boy with a beard. I also enjoyed when we had the car, when Grandpa built the Dragula to win back the Munster Koach that Herman had lost at the drag strip.

K2K: What have you been doing the last few years other than the Little Caesar's pizza commercials?
BP: I live in Florida. I do workshops on how to get into show business. I do various promotions. I help people design promotions. I'm working with a company called "Autographu.com" which is a big global autograph clearing house, so to speak, for custom-made autographs for people who don't get to shows like this or aren't in the United States, and for people who would never get a chance to see the "1313 Theater" that's coming up. I've been working on that for a year. We have three shows in the can. I'll be hosting "B" movies in "Grandpa's Dungeon" with my co-host, "Ivana", who is a beautiful crypt hostess.

K2K: Who are some of your favorite monsters or movies?
BP: My all time favorite is "Creature From The Black Lagoon". I was a big fan of the Godzilla movies when I was a kid. "The Day The Earth Stood Still" is one of my favorites, also "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers".

K2K: Did you ever integrate with any of the Addams' Family cast?
BP: Jackie Coogan ["Uncle Fester"] came on the set once. He was friends with Fred [Gwynne] and Al [Lewis], but no, we never had any interaction.

And with that, Butch had to return to his arduous task of meeting all of his fans at the con.

Written by Donrad

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

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