131. “I want you to meet my brother, Fred Gwynne.”

The episode:The Mad Monster,” ep. 103

The riff: Inserted as dialogue by Tom as the creepy house’s caretaker guy talks to the heroine.

The explanation: In this context, they’re comparing the creepy, ramshackle home in the movie to the home of “The Munsters” patriarch, Herman Munster, who was played by Fred Gwynne. Herman was arguably Gwynn’s most famous role, although he appeared in many other memorable places, from “Car 54, Where Are You?” to “My Cousin Vinny.” My favorite Gwynn appearance by far is his portrayal of the rather odd neighbor in “Pet Sematary” who first introduces the protagonists to the accursed Indian burial ground. This whole segment (and Gwynn’s famously distinctive voice) were parodied brilliantly in this South Park segment.

Novelty factor: I remember enjoying “Munsters” reruns while growing up, and I love that South Park bit, but I have to admit I had forgotten Gwynne’s actual name as the actor behind the roles. Now I remember.

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