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Dec 072016

I will admit that it has been a few years since I last attended this convention. This year it was very special because my sister and I got to meet one of our all-time favorite performers, Weird Al Yankovic.


It was a real honor and was really excited, since Weird Al was a huge favorite of mine since childhood. I have been to several of his concerts over time, but never would’ve imagined that I would actually meet him face to face. It felt like going to a convention for the first time. Of all the celebrities I have met at these events over the years, that’s saying a lot.

Along side of getting a photo, I got Weird Al’s autograph on a small movie poster from the 1989 film UHF. It was also autographed by Jay Levey, the director. He also co-wrote the screenplay with Weird Al.

Even though a few scheduled celebrities could not make it due to the hurricane delaying Spooky Empire, many of them did like Butch Patrick. Yes, TV’s Eddie Munster returned this year and his Q&A panel was interesting. He talked about his time on The Munsters as well as his thoughts on the comparisons with related Munsters remakes like The Munsters Today (1987-1991) and the made for TV movie Mockingbird Lane (2012). Let’s just say that there’s no substitute for the real thing.

Overall, I had a wonderful time. One last note: I couldn’t help but notice that among the most popular celebrities to attend Spooky Empire were cast members from the new Netflix original series Stranger Things. It was mostly the kids who attended. What could’ve made that better, in my opinion, was if Winona Ryder had been there. Now that would have been interesting. Maybe she’ll come next year?

Oct 122011

Many of the classic horror movie monsters like vampires, werewolves, and Frankenstein’s monster have been portrayed in many different ways. Among the first ones to be on a family friendly level are The Munsters (1964-1966).

They include Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) a Frankenstein monster who works at a funeral parlor and doesn’t know his own strength, his vampire wife Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo), and their son Eddie (Butch Patrick) who is a young werewolf.

Also living with them at the spooky house on 1313 Mockingbird Lane is Lily’s father Grandpa Munster (Al Lewis), who is both a vampire and a mad scientist.

Herman and Lily’s niece is Marilyn a beautiful college student. (She was played by several actresses, Pat Priest, Beverly Owen, and Debbie Watson in Munster Go Home.) As lovely as Marilyn is, the other Munsters don’t see her that way, but still accept her for who she is. Herman blames Lily for it because Marilyn is her sister’s daughter.

Last, but not least is the family pet, Spot. Spot is a dragon that lives under the stairs. Very little is actually shown, except the occasional breath of fire. You can only imagine what spot looks like, when and if he ever comes out of that stairway.

To many of the other townspeople, the Munsters are frightening. However, despite their appearance, the Munsters are still just a typical family. Anything monster related is actually funny. Things like Herman’s strength and Lily and Grandpa’s vampire qualities like age and thirst for blood.

At Spooky Empire 2011 I met Butch Patrick, best known as TV’s Eddie Munster. When I told him that I liked The Munsters, he replied, “You have excellent taste.”

Can you believe that among the choices of photos for Butch Patrick to autograph included one from his appearance on The Simpsons?

After the sitcom ended, the franchise continued with some Munsters films. My most favorite is Munster Go Home, which is about the Munster family moving to England to inherit an estate. This adventure has a great amount of that fast motion humor to go with the funny antics the classic sitcom is known for, but without the laugh track.

I admit that on occasion I have easily confused The Munsters and The Addams Family because both franchises are very similar and started with sitcoms that premiered around the same time. The Munsters aren’t as over the top as The Addams Family, but I still think of them as classics even today.