Many people of the baby boomer generation are familiar with Fred Gwynne, actor of the 1960’s “comedic police series, “Car 54 Where Are You” and “The Munsters”, the bumbling but loveable Herman Munster, child-like monster-father. Many do not know of his early elite upbringing, the tragedies that befell him, his need for “perfect children,” his string of acting successes and never lacking a job due to his multiple talents. However, he also had “good genes” as a cartoonist and children’s author. His mother, Dorothy was also a cartoonist and created a comic strip called “Sunny Jim.”
Video Clips of Early TV
“Car 54 Where are you” Theme:
“A Policeman’s lot”
The Munster’s Opening Theme Season Two:
I was completely charmed in the early 1970’s by Fred Gwynne’s talents as a cartoonist. They are wonderfully detailed and expressive! How I wish he was still alive to illustrate my as yet unpublished children’s book, “Plug-Nose and the Fisherman.”
In my former career as a speech-language pathologist, working with children and adults, language impaired children and adults delighted in two favorite books he authored and illustrated: “The King Who Rained” and “Chocolate Mouse for Dinner.”
These books are filled with puns – homonyms- the stuff of corny jokes. A homonym is a word that is said or spelled the same way as other words, but has different meanings. Typical examples: their-there, prints-prince, right-write, fair-fair, die-dye etc. etc.
If you are a little kid (or English as a second language learner) and are not aware of the multiple meaning nature of the English language- WATCH OUT! ‘Just imagine the chaos trying to process what is said!!
Fred’s books are timeless… and can be used in many creative think–out-of–the- box-ways! (I just introduced them to a co-worker for his little girl.)
Below you will find illustrative examples of his wonderful work! Video and print information is also listed. Get past “the Munster.” He had so much more to offer the world… and he did!
You Tube: Fred Gwynne Documentary:
Short Bio and publications available on Amazon: