ST. CHARLES – Best known for his portrayal of the character Eddie Munster on the popular 1960s television show "The Munsters," Butch Patrick will appear Monday at Hawk Ford of St. Charles.
Patrick will appear at the dealership from 5 to 8 p.m. as part of a Halloween event. Admission is free.
Hawk Ford of St. Charles is located at 2525 E. Main St. (Route 64), St. Charles. Children can don costumes to trick or treat and Patrick will be signing autographs.
Patrick will bring with him two cars featured in "The Munsters" show, the Munster Koach and Dragula tribute hot rod. The Munster Koach, which appeared as the family car on more than 20 episodes of "The Munsters," was specially crafted using three Ford Model T bodies and is 18 feet long.
Dragula was also seen on the series – it was built by Grandpa Munster in an effort to win back the Koach after Herman lost it in a drag race. Patrick owns both cars.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Patrick about his upcoming appearance. The interview has been edited for length and style.
Eric Schelkopf: Good talking to you again. I actually met you a couple of years ago at the All Night Flea Market at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton. It seems like you enjoy doing appearances across the country with your cars. What's it like touring the country with them and what kind of reaction do you get from people?
Butch Patrick: I've always enjoyed the road. I've always enjoyed traveling and having the cars and being a gearhead and being a member of a car club is a good fit for me.
"The Munsters" is such a iconic TV show that has such strong family values. There's kids watching it today, which makes it a third generation show.
It's been a really good fit for me and the fans.
Schelkopf: Are you surprised that the show is still popular today?
Patrick: Yes. But there's a lot of people like me who were in shows in the '60s that are riding the same nostalgia wave, so to speak.
I think people in general who lived through the '60s feel that they had a better time growing up than kids today and they try to share that experience with their kids and their grandkids. One of the ways they do that is by watching old TV shows together.
Back in the '60s, there was no internet, there were no cell phones and there was no cable. The television set was pretty much the entertainment center for the household during the week.
The weekend was for movies and baseball games and all that stuff. But in the evenings on weekdays were pretty much geared up for dinner and TV.
And that is something that doesn't happen today anymore. People are rarely around the dinner table together and when they are, they're looking at their cell phones and they don't communicate like they used to.
Schelkopf: One of my favorite children's TV shows growing up was "Lidsville," which you also starred in.
Patrick: That particular show was very different from a technical standpoint. We were doing three cameras at one time and we were superimposing images over images, which was brand new.
So even though it was by today's standards kind of old school and archaic, at the time, it was very new and exciting.
Schelkopf: On "The Munsters," you forged a special relationship with Grandpa, played by Al Lewis. Why do you think you connected so well?
Patrick: I only connected with him after the show when I was 30 years old. When I was an adult, we reconnected.
As a kid, it was fun being on the show with him. We had a grandfather-grandson relationship.
When we did reconnect, it was like time stood still. We started working together and we started touring and doing appearances together. He was Grandpa and I was Eddie.
Schelkopf: As far as the cars, do you kind of tell people about them and how they were used in the show?
Patrick: Of course, whenever we are doing personal appearances, we engage people and answer their questions. There are a lot of questions regarding the cars and the cast.
Schelkopf: And I suppose a lot of people want to get their picture taken with you and the cars.
Patrick: Yeah, that happens all the time.