The color pilot (or more correctly, presentation) for "The Munsters" was made as an attempt for a new show for the 1964 TV season by Universal Studios. It was shown to network executives in hopes that it would be chosen to air. It starred Fred Gwynne as Herman, Al Lewis as Grandpa, Beverley Owen as Marilyn, Joan Marshall as Phoebe and Happy Derman as Eddie. The pilot was twelve minutes long. A black and white version with slightly different edits also exists.
The presentation starts out with Marilyn and her date, Jack, driving up to the Munsters' lovely house. At this point, the house façade had not been dressed to look as it did in the series. Marilyn convinces her date to walk her to the door (although she'd rather have him in for a cup of coffee, but he is frightened). Marilyn has left her keys in her other purse, so she ends up knocking. Herman is the one who answers, and one look at him sends Marilyn's date running for his life. He screeches away in his car. Marilyn proceeds to say, "Oh, Uncle Herman, what's a matter with me anyway?"
For the first time ever, the "Munsters" logo oozes down the TV screen as unfamiliar theme music from a Doris Day movie plays. Joan Marshall as Phoebe (instead of Lily) goes over to kiss Marilyn (Beverley Owen) good-bye, then sees little Eddie (Happy Derman) off to school with his books. Grandpa (Al Lewis) tries to bite her, but of course he doesn't succeed. Finally, Herman (Fred Gwynne) gives Phoebe a little peck before he heads off to work, but then turns back. He turns her almost over, lays a big kiss on her, and then course walks away proudly. This sequence would later be used in a smaller scale with later opening credits. Unlike later credit sequences, Beverley Owen's name is misspelled and the text is not "oozing."
In the next scene, Phoebe picks up a jacket for Eddie, and walks over to where Grandpa is playing checkers with an invisible friend. A sad Marilyn walks into the room with Herman. In this presentation, the set was quite different from the Munsters' living room we know of today. Marilyn says goodnight to them all, and Herman and Phoebe go over near the fire. Phoebe wants Eddie to try on a new jacket (a straight jacket), but he angrily refuses. Phoebe sends him to bed, and Grandpa comments on how he wished Marilyn had some of Eddie's spunk. Herman and Phoebe get into a small quarrel about Marilyn and her "problem." Grandpa steps in to save the day by saying he can solve it. Grandpa goes over to a carpet, folds back the corner and opens his dungeon door for the first time. This is also the first time his pet bat, Igor, appears. Grandpa descends the staircase, fiddles around with his machines and then goes to his magic spell book to find a love potion for Marilyn. Besides a brief glimpse in Munster, Go Home! this is the only time Grandpa's lab is seen in color. Grandpa proceeds to mix his assorted ingredients (powdered whale's heart, nightingale tongues, women's tears and the like) and pours the concoction into his cauldron to cook. For Marilyn's sake, he hopes it works as good as the batch he had made for Elizabeth Taylor.
This plot was reworked again to involve Yvonne De Carlo as Lily, and Butch Patrick as Eddie as the expanded full-lengthed CBS sales pilot (used after CBS picked up the show to find sponsors). This version featured the Munsters set we know today, and used a slightly eerie version of the regular Jack Marshall theme. Eddie appears without his standard widow's peak look. Another shorter (and possibly earlier) version of this exists with an extended scene of Herman walking down the stairs, a differing Grandpa's lab scene and the use of the exterior Marilyn scene from the Marshall pilots.
Finally, a fifth version was made for broadcast, including the normal opening and closing credits used in the first season. All scenes with Eddie were reshot to have his new make-up and "My Fair Munster" aired as the second episode of the series on CBS. The original title of the pilot was "Love Thy Munster."