Herman Munster, 5th Earl of Shroudshire (born "Herman" alone), is a fictional character in the CBS sitcom The Munsters, played by Fred Gwynne. The patriarch of the Munster household, Herman is an entity much like Frankenstein's monster along with Lurch on the show's competitor The Addams Family.
Due to the thickness of his costume and the heat of the studio lights, Gwynne continually fought enormous weight loss from perspiration, even after consuming gallons of lemonade and salt tablets and using an air hose inside of his costume.
In the context of the series, Herman was begun in 1815 (after the close of the War of 1812) at the University of Heidelberg by Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Work on him was finally completed in around 1850 (neither Lily nor Grandpa are quite sure when) along with his twin brother Charlie. Leaving Germany for Great Britain at a young age, Herman was adopted by the Munsters of Munster Hall, a noble family living in the fictitious Shroudshire, England.
At some point Herman moved to Transylvania (a region in Romania), where he met Lily Dracula. In 1865 (technically at the age of 15, but physically older) Herman married Lily, and eventually the couple and Grandpa (Lily's father) moved to America, where Herman joined the U.S. Army, fighting in World War II.
Herman is a good-natured buffoon. Although enormously old, he behaves rather childishly, often throwing temper tantrums.
Herman is incredibly strong, once lifting a solid metal demolition ball casually with one hand. He is almost immovable; a number of times, cars have run into him without causing him injury. A safe fell on his head ("John Doe Munster") and though it did not hurt him, it gave him amnesia. When asked how much he weighs, Herman says: "Three spins," meaning the dial on the scale goes around three times. In the episode "Herman's Lawsuit," his driver's license gives his weight as 380 (lbs.), height as 7 feet, 3 inches, and eyes as brown. Herman (and the rest of the family) considers himself handsome even though he can crack a mirror by looking at it, once even cracking a shiny frying pan he looked into. When frustrated (often), he tends to stamp like a child having a tantrum — causing plaster to shower down from the ceiling. His strength is especially useful around "the Parlor" -- he can lift caskets unassisted.
The Dana Carvey stand-up special Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies features a bit where John Kerry tells Ronald Reagan (portrayed as an oracle) that he would like to be president. After being rejected, Kerry asks why, and Reagan tells him that it's because he "[looks] like Herman Munster! Your face is 19% longer than anatomically thought possible! Now get the fuck out!"
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