Butch Patrick, came across our television screens as Eddie Munster (Edward Wolfgang Munster), on the well loved television serial, The Munsters, in 1964. Back then, television was all about families, and what better family than the Munsters.
They clearly weren't the perfect bunch, a werewolf, a vampire, Vampira (Dracula's daughter), and Herman Munster, the Frankenstein of the show. But, they sure were loved by America. And so was Eddie Munster's hairline, which he is asked about all the time. He's even asked to take off his hat so people can see what his hairline looks like now. LOL (I was witness to this at the Brimfield Fair.)
The Munsters Home on the Universal lot was 1313 Mockingbird Lane. In 2006, the house was remodeled and featured in the Desperate Housewives television series with a new address, 4351 Wisteria Lane. Repainted and with manicured grounds, if you look closely, you'll see it's the old Munster's home.
But, Patrick's career didn't begin or end with the Munsters. His commercial and film credits are endless. He's been acting right along and has been in other television serials: General Hospital, a reboot of The Real McCoys and My Three Sons. Guest appearances on the popular shows of the time included: Mister Ed, My Favorite Martian, The Untouchables, The Detectives, Gunsmoke, Ben Casey, Marcus Welby, Adam 12, Rawhide, and Bonanza as well as film work.
And once Eddie Munster grew up, The Dating Game and American Bandstand were banging at his door. But he had another idea, and formed Eddie and the Monsters, a Los Angeles based rock band, signed to Rocshire Records. They were the only unsigned band to be seen on MTV.
Most recently, Examiner caught up with Patrick at the Brimfield Fair, where he was proudly sharing his two Munster cars, The Koach and Grandpa's, The Drag-U-La, riding around the fair waving at the crowds. (I even joined him.) The Munsters was the first television serial to feature "hot rod" cars and this year, is the 50th Anniversary of the Munsters.
Examiner wanted to find out what Patrick was doing now, because we all know, he's always doing something. We even spent the day with him in Newport, Rhode Island where we visited his childhood friends home, Barry Cowsill of the Cowsill Family as well as another friend of the Munsters, the Dark Shadows home of Barnabas Collins. That home is the Carey Mansion which was used for the ghoulish soap opera, Dark Shadows, all friends of The Munsters.
Examiner: I've heard about Scare it Forward, can you share with our readers about that?
Patrick: "After filming 25 episodes of my new comedy, Dengue Fever Adventure Hour, my DP (Director of Photography), Dale Jackson and I decided to name our new project Scare It Forward. It will be a charitable.org that will allow movie fans to participate in the old school style
of movie making. We then will give the movies away to insure repeat broadcasts
forever. It's like immediate public domain status. A typical budget will be 3 sponsors at $5 thousand each and 20 sponsors at $1 thousand each. All are tax deductable donations.
These smaller gifts will allow two people to spend two days on a movie set and
one to be a credited acting role coached by me. These will appear on ROKU (WiFi Network) and
other internet WiFi channels and networks. This will be a payback to the
industry that the Munsters and classic Universal Monster Movies grew from."
Examiner: How did you wind up on the Munsters?
Patrick: "After filming two series, General Hospital in its first year, then, The Real
McCoys in 1962 and 1963, I was living with my grandma, Marjorie
Greenstreet in Geneseo, Illinois. The pilot had been shot with another kid and mom.
They decided to recast them both. My agent got them to spring for a plane ticket for me to fly from LAX in Los Angeles to CBS in Studio City where I was paired with Yvonne De Carlo
as Eddie and Lily Munster. The rest is television history."
Examiner: Where were you schooled while doing the Munster's and then other series?
Patrick: "It was called the Hollywood Professional School. At the time when I was there, the Rhode Island family, The Cowsills, were also there. Barry Cowsill was a dear friend of mine. I still speak with Susan, and John Cowsill. Barry passed away a few years ago and John has been the drummer for The Beach Boys for many years."
(The Patridge Family was based on the Rhode Island family, The Cowills)
Examiner: What followed after your years on that show? What was life like after the Munsters?
Patrick: "After the Munsters, I continued to work after spending my 8th grade year with my Grandma. I was doing a lot of western's, as I could ride pretty well. My uncle was a jockey and my other family members were horse trainers and wranglers that supplied horses to studios. I did several Disney movie's, which is the Holy Grail for kids in Hollywood. My Three Sons cast me for 17 episodes. I have like 50 plus credits and 17 movies and dozens of commercials. Led up to the series, Lidsville in 1971, for Sid & Marty Krofft."
Examiner: Tell me about Lidsville?
Patrick: "Lidsville was the Krofft's brothers 3rd series. It starred Charles Nelson Reilly,
Billie Hayes and me along with many others. It was totally psychedelic and inspired by a crazy time, as I was in full blown party mode by then.
I went alone to Brazil in September 1969, to do a feature. I came back 90 days
later a seasoned party animal. Ah the 60's."
Examiner: You even had a music career. Whodda thought?
Patrick: "After Bobby Sherman was dropped by Metromedia Records Dennis Ganim who managed the popular rockers, Sugarloaf, asked if I'd like to follow in the footsteps of
David Cassidy and Donny Osmond. I said, "I don't sing." The response was, " You
don't have too!" So, I like to think of my several appearances on TV as my
Munster Minelli era. I even headlined over Loggins & Messina on American
Bandstand. Geeeez, too funny. Then I upped the ante in 1983 with, "Whatever Happened
To Eddie," for Rocshire Records. I not only lip synced but faked the bass as well.
I DID write the song though. MTV was new and we became the first unsigned act to
have a video air on Super Bowl Sunday in Los Angeles. Even the basement tapes were soon
a hit segment that I know we inspired."
Examiner: You have been doing Comic Con across the country? How did that come about?
Patrick: "The Munsters are "pop culture" and have more toys, more memorabilia, comic books and more licenses than any other television serial. Comic Con approached me and it's been a tremendous success."
Patrick will be in this area in August. Check this website for dates, times, etc: Munsters.com