So many of us like to listen to music while we work in a bid to stimulate and inspire us to better creativity. Some people prefer to work in silence, but many of us will have a playlist that we like to put on when we work. However, scientists have revealed that music could actually be stifling our creativity and harming our productivity – but is it true?
Many people in rooms and offices throughout the country will attest to the fact that music helps them work. They don’t like sitting in silence, and they need sound to stimulate their brains and minds, and helping them work. Though studies do seem to suggest that those who work in silence find themselves more creative and productive. Dr. Neil Mclatchie decided to conduct experiments to test if this were true.
The main part of the test showed subjects being shown three separate words, and they then had to use a word that linked the three in some way. For instance, the words ‘horse,’ ‘fruit,’ and ‘tipping’ would be linked by the word ‘fly.’ The purpose of this test is to determine verbal creativity in people, and this test compared quiet conditions with music being played. Apparently, the test showed silence to be key when it came to the number of answers people produced.
Boosts The Mood
Subjects were also asked to assess their mood both before and after the experiment, to see if there were any changes. A lot of the subjects stated that their mood was improved through the use of music, but they still didn’t see an improvement in their performance when it came to the experiment. Strangely, it seemed as though library noise was actually the best and most effective sounds for productivity.
Of course, it is entirely possible that it is different depending on the person, and that music is better for some types of creativity, but not for others. There are also indicators that music can improve motivation and drive as well, so this is something to think about for the future.
Younger Than His Daughter?
In the show, Al Lewis’ character, Grandpa, is meant to be the father of Herman’s wife, Lily. However, the truth about the acting duo playing both father and daughter is that their ages didn’t make sense according to their characters. Al Lewis was actually one year younger than Joan Marshall – the woman who originally played the first Lily Munster during the show. However, this was never very obvious to the audience as a bit of makeup and some good acting managed to hide their ages well.
An Experienced Duo
The Munsters was a cult classic largely because of its dynamic characters who had great on-screen chemistry. But for some of the actors, this chemistry wasn’t born overnight. The show’s two main actors, Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis, had spent some time together working on the show Car 54 – Where Are You? which is where the two honed their comedic timing and on-screen chemistry. However, they made their fame through their experience on The Munsters as Herman Munster and Grandpa.
Bugs Bunny And The Raven
On the show, a minor voice acting position was played by the legendary voice actor Mel Blanc. The role of The Raven, a cuckoo clock that would occasionally say things throughout the show, was voiced by Blanc. However, this was one of his least famous roles and the actor would go on to play some of the most famous animated characters in film – namely Bugs Bunny. He went on to play almost all the voices for most of Disney’s characters for a while.
The Munster Koach
During the series, the Munsters can sometimes be seen driving around in their patented family car called ‘The Munster Koach.’ The Munster coach was originally designed by Tom Daniel, the same man who created the original Batmobile, for only $200! The original Munster Koach was modeled off an old Ford T-series and has since become a classic icon from the show with its ghoulish ornaments and stylized decorations. The Koach was loved so much, that it went on to inspire a Rob Zombie song.
A Multi-Faceted Actor
Fred Gwynne, the actor who played Herman Munster, was a surprisingly talented actor and could handle a number of different roles quite comfortably. This is most evident on the set of ‘The Munsters’ as he went on to play three different characters throughout the show. The first is his primary role as Herman Munsters, the father of the home. He also went on to play Herman Munster’s identical twin brother Charlie in the show and a failed experiment, known as Johann, who resembled Frankenstein’s monster.
Black and White
When The Munsters first started airing on TV screens around the country, the advent of color TVs had just become popular and accessible. This meant that for the first time in history, a growing majority of American society was experiencing TV in color in their homes for the first time. The show was originally shot in color to cater to this new market, but soon found that they could save a lot more money by filming in black and white film instead.
During the ’60s and early days of filmmaking, creating characters that required a lot of makeup or costume design could prove to be a very technical and time-consuming issue. The makeup process wasn’t as streamlined as it is today, which meant that it could often take hours for an actor to get into character. Because of this, Fred Gwynne’s costume was hot, heavy, and clumpy. They used to have to cool him down with a fan between takes just so that he didn’t faint!
When the producers originally set out to create The Munsters, they wanted the show to feel as authentic as the creature films of the old Hollywood horror days. To do this, they went to great lengths to make the sets and characters feel as true to the era as possible. They even went as far as getting the original set designer for the Frankenstein movie to help recreate Grandpa’s laboratory, making it look like Dr. Frankenstein’s lab and even reusing props from the movie.
TV during the ’60s was very different from what it is now. Sensors were really specific about the kinds of things you could and couldn’t show and apparently the bedroom was largely off limits. Because of this, sitcoms would generally try and avoid the parents’ bedroom – but The Munsters actively invited audiences into the bedroom and even showed Herman and Lily talking together in bed. They weren’t the first show to do this, but their style popularized the idea and was quite edgy at the time.
After filming only a few episodes, Joan Marshall started having emotional issues on set after a breakup with her then-boyfriend. She would frequently cry on set which often led to producers having to postpone the shoot. After she eventually left the show to marry her new husband, she was replaced by Pat Priest. Priest was offered the role not because she was a particularly great actress, but because she was the same dimensions as Marshall which meant the producers could save money on costumes.
A Hefty Investment
While producers managed to get the Munster Koach created for what many would consider a steal by today’s standards, they invested a great deal of money into the set of the Munsters’ family home. According to reports from the studio, the producers spent around $1 million in order to give the house all the characteristic decorations and spooky additions that made it so iconic. That’s a lot of money when you consider that the show only ran for two seasons, but definitely helped to make it a cult classic!
Around the same time that The Munsters started airing their show, The Addams Family had also found its way onto screens across America. Both of these spooky families were huge successes but neither knew that they were going to have such direct competition. For a while, a lot of people assumed that they were ripoff shows – but couldn’t tell which ripped which off first! The truth is that the shows were created independently and it was really just a coincidence.
Fred Gwynne, the actor who played Herman Munster, was a well-educated person. He had originally studied at Harvard where he made a name for himself as a performer, writer, and comedian by working for the Harvard Lampoon. This became a huge stepping stone for his career as it opened the door to many more acting roles. A lot of actors would follow suit, and aspiring to be involved in the Harvard Lampoon or National Lampoon was considered a huge honor for a comedian or actor.
Every year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade draws thousands of people from all around the country and even the world. It’s a big event where cultural icons and celebrities from all walks of life spend the day on floats riding through New York City. It’s become a cultural landmark and lots of different celebrities have taken part over the years. During the ’60s, the Munsters had become so popular that they were asked to partake in the parade and did so while riding the Koach together as a family.
It’s not uncommon for fans of shows to stylize themselves after main characters or do things that characters in the show would do to feel like they’re a part of the show in real life. However, some people are such fans that they go to pretty extreme measures to replicate aspects of a show or movie. Charles and Sandra McKee, for instance, recreated the Munsters’ house exactly as their dream home in Waxahachie, Texas. They frequently throw parties to raise money for charities. Definitely #1 fans!
As the show became more popular, the producers sought to cash in by producing merchandise for the show. However, not wanting to take the risk of producing too much merchandise (lest it didn’t all sell at first), they stuck to limited numbers, making the merch very valuable by today’s standards as collector’s items. You could find everything from trading cards to board games, t-shirts, coloring books, dolls and even mini-replicas of the Munster house itself. So if you find any Munster merch – be sure to hold on to it!
Life After Cancellation
While The Munsters had garnered a lot of fans in a short period of time, the fact was that they couldn’t compete with the kind of ratings other shows like Batman and The Addams Family were achieving at the time. Because of this, the show was eventually canceled after only two seasons. However, the fanbase continued growing after the show had ended and it was eventually brought back as a TV series in the ’80s and also as two individual TV films featuring the characters from the show.
Because the creators of the show had insisted that it was meant to look just like the Hollywood creature films of the decades that preceded the show, they went to great lengths to source suitable costumes. Because the show was being filmed on a Universal Studios lot, the producers had access to a lot of the costumes that had originally been used in those films. Not only that, but the costumes could be used for free because they already belonged to the studio!
After Joan Marshall left the set, she was eventually replaced by Yvonne De Carlo. Yvonne had come from the glamorous world of Hollywood acting and had experienced a totally different version of the acting world than her fellow actors had. They largely considered her a ‘bona fide’ actress and a glamour queen and thought that she wouldn’t fit their style of comedy. However, as the cast got to know each other a little better, tensions slowly melted on set and they wound up having great on-screen chemistry.
‘Lily’ Was Originally ‘Phoebe’
A lot of people don’t realize that The Munsters was originally created from a pilot episode that the writers shot in order to get the series sold. However, after the show had been successfully pitched, the writers went to work adapting the show from the pilot to make it work for a TV series. The most notable differences are that the pilot was shot in color originally and that Lily was originally called Phoebe in the pilot episode. These were changed for the show.
The Minds Behind Dudley Do-Right
Allan Burns and Chris Hayward were the creators of The Munsters and Emmy Award-winning writers. The duo had previously worked together on Jay Ward cartoons. The truly funny writers could stretch their skills from the chronicles about the twisted fortunes of a family of ghouls to The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The two co-created Dudley Do-Right, which featured the klutzy cartoon, along with Alex Anderson. Burns would later co-create The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda.
Marilyn was played by two different actresses. But in this case, it was the actress’s decision, not the producer’s. New York-based Beverley Owen played Marilyn for the first 13 episodes, but she was desperately unhappy working in California and missed her fiance, who was back on the East coast. Gwynne and Lewis intervened on her behalf and talked to the producers to get her released from her contract. She went home, got married, and eventually got a role on the soap opera Another World, which was filmed in New York.
Herman In Public
As The Munsters gained popularity, only Fred Gwynne was able to relax on his days off, since the time and expense required to get him into character outweighed the publicity value of cutting ribbons at supermarket openings. One of the rare times he played Herman in public was alongside Al Lewis in the 1964 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Gwynne confessed to TV Guide that he didn’t enjoy the time because he “had to say ‘hello’ to the little kiddies for 40 blocks.”
Diva De Carlo
Apparently, when the camera was rolling, De Carlo was a master at her craft. She played her character perfectly, understood the humor of the show, and had great chemistry with the rest of the characters. However, when the camera wasn’t rolling, she was known to lock herself in her trailer by herself. Also, she was known to frequently hold up production by always making last minute and unnecessary adjustments to her hair, makeup, and nails, which annoyed the rest of the crew. She went through five different hairdressers over the show’s two-year run.
The Munsters’ spooky house has appeared in many TV shows and movies and is still standing today on a Universal Studios lot. It was used just a few years ago for an episode of Desperate Housewives, with a radical second-floor makeover due to the show’s producers being concerned that audiences would be distracted by seeing the Munster’s house in the series. Oprah Winfrey played a potential buyer of it. She was interested in the house but decided against staying there because she found the neighborhood spooky.
In 1954, vampires were banned from comics by the Comics Code Authority, which is not surprising considering the strict codes on any form of entertainment at the time. However, Gold Key Comics wasn’t a member of the Comics Code Authority, so they produced 16 issues of a Munsters comic from 1965 to 1968. The issues first released even had covers with photos from the series. The first issue of The Munsters comics remains one of Gold Key Comics’ most valuable publishings to date.
Before the show’s cancellation after season two, the cast shot a made-for-TV movie titled, Munster, Go Home! In the film, Herman Munster inherits a large fortune and a mansion from his uncle who is a British Earl. From there, the family travels to the United Kingdom only to discover a counterfeiting operation. Audiences enjoyed the film because it didn’t try too hard and wasn’t really different from the show at all, just longer with a more intricate plot – and in color!
People Still Couldn’t Get Enough
Although the show had been canceled, there had been a movie, and even an attempt at an animated series, because people still couldn’t get enough of the characters. In 1981, there was a television reunion called The Munsters Revenge, in which Gwynne, De Carlo, and Lewis played their original roles. Then, in 1988, the show came back as The Munsters Today with 72 episodes and three seasons. There were also two more TV movies in 1995 and 1996 called Here Come the Munsters and The Munsters’ Scary Christmas.
Believe it or not, the television show was so successful and adored by its audiences that the show was asked to be in a Cheerios commercial. The entire commercial is based on classic themes throughout the show, all relating back to Cheerios. It even is narrated by Eddie who proclaims that “Daddy said they’re the best thing since bat wings!” A very smart marketing move by Cheerios, since the show was very popular among young age groups that tend to eat cereal more than adults.
There Was Another Pilot Episode?
Very few people actually know the truth about the pilot episode of The Munsters, and that’s because it never even aired on television. The original pilot script for Universal’s live-action monster comedy was called Love Thy Monster, written by Norm Liebman and Ed Haas. There are a lot of interesting facts behind it, and there are a lot of differences between the pilot and the actual show. For example, the pilot was shot in color.
Leave It To Beaver
A little-known fact about The Munsters was that it was originally created by the same people who created a popular show from the era known as Leave It To Beaver. These shows couldn’t have been further apart from one another in style, even though they often dealt with similar themes in a suburban context. Leave It To Beaver followed the adventures of a child living in an ideal suburban family in 1950s America, while The Munsters were a bizarre twist on the modern family model.
After the short but successful run that the series had, a lot of the actors carried on with their careers in show business. However, Al Lewis was a dynamic and entrepreneurial person and decided to do something a little different. He used his fame from the show to help launch a restaurant business of his own in the now upmarket area of Greenwich Village in New York. The restaurant was known as Grampa’s and featured classic-style Italian dishes that were quite popular.
As The Munsters had just started to take off, it was grounded rather prematurely. The main reason for this was that other shows at the time were simply getting better ratings than them. In those days, TV stations would be more eager to keep high-rating content rather than losing out to a wider audience. Due to the fact that Batman had become a popular sensation during the time of The Munsters, it eventually led to the show being canceled as people simply preferred Batman over The Munsters.
After the show had ended, most of the actors went on with their lives by pursuing their own individual goals. Later on in life, Al Lewis had become quite popular as both an actor and a public figure. Using the fame he had, he decided to run for mayor of New York. During the election, he won around 52,000 votes – or 1% of the total vote. Despite losing, he remained an active voice in politics for a while after that.
Green And Violet
When the makeup artists originally decided to paint Herman Munster’s makeup, he was meant to be an off-green color so that he would seem more ghoulish. When the producers decided to shoot the series in black and white, the makeup artists changed his color to bright violet because it allowed the cameras to pick up his light more accurately. However, they had to change this back again in the ’80s when they reintroduced the show in color, which is when we see Herman in his characteristic green.