In the decades following the 1966 cancellation of The Munsters, actor Al Lewis devoted himself to becoming a raconteur (especially as a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show), a restaurateur (at his Munsters-themed Greenwich Village eatery), a politician (he ran for governor of New York in 1998), and just generally an all-around delightful human being. Evidence of the latter can be found in a vintage TV clip that has resurfaced on YouTube just in time for Halloween, thanks to the pop-culture curators behind the Funny Local News Bloopers channel. In the two-and-a-half-minute video dating back to roughly the late 1980s, an unreasonably excited Lewis serves as a guest “celebrity weatherman” on a local New York newscast, replacing absentee forecaster Bob Harris. The Car 54, Where are You? actor, then in his late 60s and mysteriously wearing an unexplained “used car salesman”-type cowboy hat, does discuss the current weather conditions and what New Yorkers can expect for the next few days. But he largely turns his guest-casting spot into a bit of impromptu, high-energy performance art, combining some grandfatherly noodging, a few giggle fits, and plenty of vampiric joie de vivre. A representative example:
Let me tell you something. Today was a wonderful day. A little nippy but wonderful. And wait ’til you see what tomorrow is gonna be! Tomorrow is gonna be beautiful! It’s gonna warm up. There’ll be sun. Oh, it’s wonderful! Get out! I mean, put a coat on, a sweater underneath, and get out! Enjoy the weather!
What sells the bit is Al Lewis’ bubbly, irrepressible delivery. This is a man determined to enjoy this weather forecast. The more staid newscasters behind the desk, smiles frozen on their faces, seem immune to the charms of Lewis’ discourse and are more concerned with returning to a sensible, responsible broadcast. They also seem incapable of separating the actor from his iconic role. “Bye, Grandpa Munster!” one yells, as Lewis shuffles off the set.