Pen and Personality
by Larry V. Jaekle, Sound Stage 6/65
Every Thursday evening the monster fans of America plug themselves into their television sets to view the clean-living, often misunderstood, and unmistakably humorous Munster family.
There was a time when, walking home from a horror movie, we knew the afflicted creatures would remain safely out of circulation, sealed in a coffin or reduced to ashes. But now there is no rest for those atrocious beings because Universal City Studios has resurrected them for CBS's current comedy series, The Munsters.
If ever poor monsters needed compassion, affection, and sympathy, it is now. The once dreadfully evil and misled creatures have been humanized and aren't really bad anymore. They certainly cannot be responsible for the destruction they cause, since by nature they are unlucky, powerful, clumsy, and misdirected. They can't understand why the world doesn't accept them as the sweet, lovable characters they really are.
I feel it is my civic duty as a monster-lover and Graphoanalyst to reveal The Munsters as seen by a handwriting expert, since they have been blinded by success and deprived of their misbegotten right to spread dread and destruction.
Spooky but beautiful Lily Munster (Yvonne DeCarlo), 156-year-old wife of herman, has a vivid materialistic imagination, determined by the long, wide lower loops reaching into the lines below. They also reveal restlessness and a desire for variety and change. We know Miss DeCarlo would not be satisfied in an inactive or sedentary profession. Her upper loops are very tall, and we can be sure she thinks in terms of the spiritual, or philosophical.
Yvonne's handwriting slants far to the right, telling us of her capacity for extreme emotional responsiveness, a trait necessary for depicting a glamorous, exotic, or unconventional role. No wonder this sultry beauty and celebrated glamour queen has melted the hearts of millions on several continents.
A mental desire for physical activity is revealed by the presence of the lower loop in the small p's, shown my the arrows in "Happy." Mrs. Munster would find it difficult to be physically inactive, and under normal conditions will find release for her abundant energy in sports or exercise.
Notice particularly the initial circle loop in "Merry" and "Most" and the capital C in her signature. These loops tell us of her desire for greater opportunities to express her love of responsibility.
Examined under a magnifying glass, the idot in the word "in" will be found to be well rounded instead of half-circle or crescent-shaped, indicating Miss DeCarlo's loyalty and faithfulness to ideals.
This glamorous witch has a true and lasting sense of humor. The humor stroke is illustrated in the capital H and N in "Happy" and "New Year," and we know she thoroughly enjoys playing the comical wife of Frankenstein's monster.
High d stems, indicated by the arrows, reveal her lasting pride and strong desire for approbation. Instead of being retraced these d stems are looped, telling us of Yvonne's sensitivity to conditions and persons about her. Miss DeCarlo is very conscious of her conduct, personal appearance, and accomplishments.
One of the most valuable characteristics a person can possess--enthusiasm, or strength and endurance, is revealed by the long sweeping t bar in "handwriting," and the long top stroke of the five in "1965." She will accomplish a project because she has a strong will and endurance behind that goal, and will create interest and action in others.
Yvonne DeCarlo's signature is underscored, which tells us of self-reliance, or faith in her ability to accomplish and meet difficulties.
Attired in a flowing robe with her black hair hanging to her knees, Yvonne really is as she appears on television, a conscientious, determined, frank, faithful, and sympathetic wife, radiating warmth, understanding, and charm.
Frankenstein's monster, the towering mild-mannered Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne), has a deeply emotional nature--one that will retain feelings, hurts, or happinesses for great periods of time, revealed by the intense pressure. Heavy writing also shows a love of anything that appeals to the senses, plus a natural color sense.
Fred's Greek e formations coupled with the small g's, indicated by arrows, made like badly formed figure 8's, are a sure sign of his literary ability. Combine this faculty with the frequent breaks between letters in words, and we know it is easy for him to understand and truly appreciate music, and possibly write poetry. These breaks also reveal his intuitive sense, and keen insight into many situations. Gwynne possesses a fluidity of rhythm which gives him freedom of expression in speaking and writing, the characteristic of a true artist in every sense.
We see a classic example of dignity in Herman Munster's handwritten specimen. Arrows reveal tall d and t stems which are not looped, but retraced. This trait is shown in the retracement, not in the height. He respects himself because he conforms to an ordered pattern of thought and behavior.
Fred Gwynne strives to appear balanced and poised regardless of his inner emotions, and conducts everything in moderation. He has a lofty manner, stateliness, and calm self-possession, and will inspire this attitude in others. Dignity is compatible with order--both will be born out by writing. Notice the excellent spacing, the precise letters, the symmetrical balance of his penmanship. The downstrokes return to the base line before the formation of another letter is started. He has a reminds amount of self-respect and will do nothing to belittle himself or others. Fred will always have about him an aura of distinction.
Pride is determined by the height of the d and t stems, and is valuable trait because it spurs him on to greater accomplishments, and a higher standard of conduct. Why does he make these tall t and d stems? Because he enjoys the appearance of this stroke, which reflects his desire to be noticed and approved by others.
The monster who was built in 1818 certainly has determination, and the endurance to carry though any purpose. He may have to detour, but he will still work toward the fulfillment of his original plan, and will plough straight through, overcoming obstacles with force because of his great tenacity. Determination is confirmed by heavy or strong downstrokes written below the base line. The endurance or life of this determination is revealed by the relative length of the down stroke.
In the sixth line, the lower loop in "my" is not completed. The stroke swings to the left, but does not complete the loop, and we can be sure Gwynne's imagination lacks direction at times because of his numerous projects.
Now solidly established as t he ever-lovin' Herman Munster, Fred, possessor of many fine talents and traits too numerous to mention in this article, will remain popular because of the tremendous emotional nature which gives him the ability not only to understand people but to appeal and influence his television audience. He is the only Frankenstein (living) who is versatile enough to be a fine actor, artist, comedian, poet, writer and monster. Excuse me, Munster.
That over-the-hill Dracula (Al Lewis), better known as Grandpa Munster, is as evil as any 3-year-old child playing roulette in Las Vegas, although he might prefer the television audience to believe otherwise. The capital M in "Munsters" gives us a clue to his self-consciousness, or fear of ridicule. This trait is easily recognized in handwriting, since the last hump of the m's or n's extends higher than the others. We can be sure that when Dracula becomes a vampire he will do a bang-up job . . . The only trouble is neither Lily nor Herman will give him the opportunity. This is the first time I ever realized vampires could be self-concious.
Al is a positive thinker. The firm endings of the rigid (straight) downward strokes which end on the baseline of many of the letters, particularly the down strokes shown by the arrows, reveal mental tenacity. He is also very aggressive, and will grasp opportunities. This force is determined by forward-moving final strokes of the lower loop structures pin-pointed by arrows in "anything" and "please."
We can be absolutely certain Mr. Lewis will invade new fields of activity with the force of a volcano erupting. Grandpa will not get physically violent, nor will he become quarrelsome. His mind sees and opportunity for action, his initiative motivates this action, and his aggressiveness carries it through. Mr. Lewis is a real TIGER when it pertains to accomplishing objectives.
Optimism is the inclination to look at the bright side of life, and Al Lewis is truly an optimist. This trait is recognized by the general upward slant of words, letters or lines of writing. The numerous Greek e's throughout this speciment reveal Al's remarkable appetite for cultural surroundings and objects,, such as classic books and the theater. He is also drawn like a magnet to people with culture.
Mr. Lewis's need to acquire, or possess, is seen by the initial hooks, indicated by arrows in "Hopefully" and "The Munsters." This need to acquire may encompass knowledge, recognition, friendship, or material objects.
At times, Grandpa takes things too personally. Sensitivity, or readiness to feel hurt or slighted is determined by looped t and d stems. We see two looped small d stems, verifying the acquired trait, and we know our hilarious friend has a great need to be loved, liked, and appreciated by others.
Look at the slender lower loop of the small f's in "If," "find," "wife," and "Hopefully," and the slender lower loop in the p in "Grandpa." These loops reveal selectivity, and we know Mr. Lewis will carefully select his acquaintances. He mixes socially, but trusts only close and tried friends.
Pat Priest, daughter of former Treasurer of the United States, Ivy Baker Priest, portrays Marilyn, niece of the Munsters.
Examining Pat's handwriting, we see a high degree of responsiveness, revealed by the marked rightward-flowing slant. We know she is prompt and very expressive, and often acts solely on impulse, will show traces of tear when listening to a heart warming story, and minor surprises of a favorable nature will revive her intense emotional expression.
Her willingness to share with others is seen by the long final strokes and the width of space between letter formations.
Arrows reveal her analytical ability. Notice the v-formations at the base of the small n in "things," and "in." Pat will sift or separate ideas gained by mental exploration. The tops of these n's are pyramid-shaped, or inverted v's, telling us of her natural desire to investigate any situation. She must continually have something to occupy her mind, either an association with people, work, or a hobby. Since her writing reveals rhythm this outlet could be sports or oil painting.
Exploratory-analytical thinkers resent intrusion in the area of thought because they trust their own research, having weighed and evaluated this subject matter. If we add emotional expression to critical thinking, we have resentment of emotional imposition. The resentment trait is indicated by inflexible upstrokes forming the initial stroke of words or letters.
If we check the y in "yours," and the i in "Priest," revealed by arrows, we shall see this stroke and we can be certain Pat resists forces that demand her submission to the ideas and actions of others. She will be very considerate of others' feelings and will never impose upon their good nature because she is extremely conscious of her own awareness to imposition.
Marilyn's rapidity of thinking enables her to adapt to situations quickly. Not only is she versatile, but possesses keen comprehension and has the ability to understand and grasp ideas immediately. She is also very observant and somewhat self-conscious.
Everyone admires a person who can laugh, even when the joke is on himself. Pat Priest is a real comedienne. Her humorous nature is revealed by the initial flourishes in the capital B and P in "Best," and "Pat," and "Priest."
Miss Priest's pride is seen in the tall t stems in her signature. Her spiritualistic imagination and habit of thinking in terms of the philosophical is obvious by the looped t stems and the tall looped h in "things."
The lovely blonde, blue-eyed Marilyn, favorite niece of the Munsters, need not worry about her boys friends, because she has the qualities so much in demand by sincere wife-minded males.
Eddie (Butch Patrick), youngest of the Munster clan, is only 11-years-old, but already established as a veteran of motion pictures and television.
Glancing at his handwriting, we are struck by the consistent uphill slant, revealing his optimism.
Butch writes with a near vertical h and, showing calm consideration and cool judgment, tempered with warmth and sympathy. He will respond in a mild way to emotional situations and will use good judgment in making decisions.
Creativity and a natural ability to construct with the hands is seen by many broad or flat-topped m's and r's, shown by the arrows. Creative ability is the mental habit of constructing. Instead of thinking and forming conclusions rapidly, Butch gathers impressions slowly, one by one. His mind works careful and logically, and when he arrives at a conclusion, he knows the reason why.
This 51-inch tall Munster who weighs 80 pounds, writes with a heavy pressure, and has a natural color sense, lasting emotions, and a love of anything which appeals to the senses.
His pride and dignity are already well established. He will avoid any action that might evoke derogatory criticism, and will conform to family and social customs because he enjoys the approval of others.
Butch Patrick is careful about selecting his friends. He will ask himself: "Do they like what I like? Do they want to accept me? Can I really trust them?" Unlike the clannish person, he will be willing to share his friends with others, and he will be liberal in respecting the views and suggestions of these associates.
Combine Butch's forceful thinking, determined by the strong t bars, with his generous impulses, imagination, tenacity, sensitivity, and poise and we have a Munster's son that any parent would be proud to call his own.
The season of the spook has arrived, and with it, The Munsters. They are very moral monsters indeed, according to their handwriting. These "good-guys" have many things in common, but the most prevalent is keen mentality, sympathy and affection. This new generation is bound to upset the old-style monsters, who were not only horrible but truly evil. It may be centuries before they are able to relax again, in their musty, antiquated crypts.