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!