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when grandpa munster sang happy birthday to me


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back when I was in radio, my morning show partner and I were on this kick, intereviewing celebrities from old television shows from the 60s and 70s Butch Patrick, Bernie Koppel, Dawn Wells, Bob Denver, Jeff Conaway, Lisa Loring sure, none of them were any longer a-list or even b-list celebrities, but had been in their heyday, and it was always a hoot. except Bernie Koppel. he was an asshole. and jeff conaway was drunk. at 8am. but I digress

april 9th, 2002, we had an interview scheduled for the morning show with Al Lewis from the munsters and car 54 where are you. I couldnt wait! he called in before the interview was scheduled so we could, in his words, "get to know each otha a little bit befoah we jump offa dis cliff hand in hand". so while my morning show partner was out of the studio, Mr. Lewis and I talked off the air for about 10 minutes, just laughing and having a good old time man, I was having a private phone conversation with Grandpa Munster. it was pretty surreal, and pretty cool. I mentioned to him that this was a great birthday present getting to talk to someone Id watched on television for such a large portion of my life. ...april 9th is my birthday

interview time came, and Mr. Lewis regailed me, my partner and our listeners with tales of his working in vaudeville, burlesque, the circus, his foray into politics when he ran for governor of new york in the green party, the munsters, his restaurant in Greenwich Village in nyc, his voracious appetite for books and knowledge all with a sharp wit and real, good humor. he was hilarious. the interview ran long 20 minutes in fact, with no station breaks a huge radio no-no I didnt care, I was having a great time and could have listened to him for hours. he invited me to come see him on the air and said hed cook for me, and to leave my morning show partner back in texas because he was "such a wet blanket". haha! what a wise, wise manat the end of the interview, when I was falling all over myself thanking him for all of his time and such a great radio interview, he said he had one last thing he needed to say, and that it was very important, and would I mind? of course I didnt mind and he began to sing, in his inimitable brooklinesque -

haaaaaaaaaaaappy boiiiith-daaaaaaaay tooooo yooouuuuuuuuuuuuu, haaaaaaaaaaaappy boiiiith-daaaaaaaay tooooo yooouuuuuuuuuuuuu, haaaaaaaaaaaappy boiiiith-daaaaaaaay myyyy deeeeeeeeaah sweeeeeeeet melllllllllisssssssssssaaaaaaaaaarrrrrr,
haaaaaaaaaaaappy boiiiith-daaaaaaaay tooooo yooouuuuuuuuuuuuu!

that was one of the best birthday presents Ive ever received.

thank you, grandpa, and good night.


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  • I'm melissa mcgee
  • From Temple, Texas, United States
  • photographer. singer. soapcrafter. herbalist. dogmom. godmother. fantastic cook. i kiss better than i cook. [all photographs on this blog copyright melissa mcgee unless otherwise noted.]
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