The Munsters in "Marineland Carnival" Promo (1965)
Of the many things that I wish existed somewhere on the internet, one definite would be the full hour long "Marineland Carnival" special that CBS ran on Easter Sunday in April of 1965. I would not normally get wound up to see what must have amounted to nothing more than an extended primetime advertisement for a theme park, but dammit... this one featured the Munsters!
Herman, Lily, Grandpa, little Eddie, and Marilyn Munster – the entire family – running amok at Marineland of the Pacific in Palos Verdes, California. CBS, which was also home to their own sitcom show, got a little cross-promotion in by having their first family of horror visit the park. Fortunately, while we don't get to see the whole special (which is probably pretty creaky and stilted anyway, I would guess), there is a minute-long promo for the special that still exists and can be found floating about on Youtube in various places. Here's a look...
Of course, the purpose of discussing the Munsters/Marineland promo here on The Shark Film Office can only mean that sharks are involved somehow, right? Well, almost... It is mentioned that Herman, Lily and Grandpa want to find a pet that is lovable "like a shark, a barracuda, or an octopus". We do get to see the octopus, which looks like it is tangled up with a diver in the tank, but as for the shark? Not quite. On the word "shark," we are shown a sawfish.
Many people believe sawfish to be sharks (in reviewing old cartoons for shark scenes, sawfish are sometimes brought in to be the "shark element"), but in fact, sawfish are actually members of the ray family. They have bodies that are shaped somewhat like a shark's is, and like all other rays, sawfish are also cartilaginous, as are sharks. These similarities probably lead a lot of people to assume sawfish are sharks, as well as an existing alternate name for them out there: carpenter sharks, owing to the fantasized usage of their denticle-laden rostrums. (They may not build houses with them, but they can use them to dig out prey.)
While I am definitely more of an Addams Family guy in both temperament, darker humor, and artistic sensibility, I have also held a love for the Munsters as well, having grown up seeing reruns of both shows (which, believe it or not, in their original runs aired concurrently, albeit on different networks) in roughly equal measure. I also have an unreserved love for the 1966 feature film, Munster, Go Home!, in which Herman ends up racing Grandpa's wonderfully named (especially as far as Rob Zombie is concerned) Drag-u-la race car while vacationing in merry olde England.
As for the promo, while the shark reference is a tad off, the commercial is charming and it is great fun to see the actors cavorting about as their characters in public. And, of course, a shark would be a perfect pet for the Munsters to want to bring home. I hope that someday a copy of the actual full special of Marineland Carnival is found, because who knows? Maybe we might actually get to some real sharks in it?