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The Addams Family

American cartoonist, Charles Addams, created The Addams Family.  The Addams Family appears in print, television, movies, and video games.  On the Addams Family the idea of beauty is the opposite of what is generally known as beauty.  All the family considers themselves to be normal but the young girl is thought to be the ugly duckling.  She is beautiful in the way most of us define beauty.  The family doesn't realize that others see them as different and scary.

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Cartoons

Addams' cartoons became popular in the 1930s.  He was known for his interest in dark humor.  

The Addams Family Premise

The family lives next to a cemetery and a swamp.  The address is 0001 Cemetery Lane.  The home was inspired by homes that Addams saw in him home town of Westfield, New Jersey.  The houses there were Victorian mansion and there were creepy graveyards.

The Addams were not evil people.  They were a loving family like most ordinary families.  Mortica was a good example of a mother.  She and Gomez are a loving couple.  Morticia gets Gomez turned on by speaking French.  The couple cheer the kids on for all their accomplishments.  The family treats visitors really well.  The visitors are always looking for the first chance they have to get out of the Addams Family home.

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The Addams Family

The Addams Family characters

Names

The characters started out not having names but when the TV show was being made Charles Addams was told to give them names.  The characters were to be as follow:

The father: Gomez or Repelli

The mother: Morticia

The uncle: Fester

The butler: Lurch

The daughter: Wednesday (for being "full of woe")

The son: Pubert (later changed to Pugsley)

 

The Addams Family members and servants

The Addams family consists of Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester, Grandmama, and Cousin Itt. The family is tended to by their butler, Lurch, and Thing, a disembodied hand (sometimes in a box) who is a childhood friend of Gomez.

 

 

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Gomez

His full name is Gomez Alonzo Addams.  He is the father.  He is the husband of Morticia and the father  of Wednesday and Pugsley.  He was first known as Grandmama's son and then later he became Grandmama's son-in-law.  His brother is Fester.

Gomez is romantic and good looking.  He is a successful man.  He can be childish.  He does everything with enthusiasm.  He is a peaceful person but knows something about combat.  He and Morticia practice fencing on occasion.

Gomez really loves Morticia.  He is a lawyer but rarely practices.  He actually get a kick out of losing cases.  His fellow students voted him "Least Likely to Pass the Bar".

Gomez is rich because of an inheritance and good investments but he doesn't care much about money.  He plays the stock market but seems to aim at losing money.

Gomez smokes and plays with model trains.  He is very generous to his friends.

Morticia

Her full name is Morticia A. Addams (nee Frump).  She is Gomez's wife and the children's mother.  She has pale skin and dresses Goth.  You could also consider her fashion style as Vampire like.  

Moriticia's original mother was Hester Frump.  She was later known as Grandmama's daughter.  Grandmama later became known as Esmerelda Frump.  Morticia's older sister is Ophelia.  Ophelia brought uncle Fester into the family by marriage.

Morticia is classy and artistic.  She likes music.  She knits weird things for the family.

The original drawing of Morticia inspired the Elvira character that we all know and love....nudge nudge ....say no more.....wink wink......    Hey that is brilliant.  I'm glad I thought it up.

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Pugsley and Wednesday

Pugsley and Wednesday are Gomez and Moricia's two children.  Wednesday's middle name is Friday.  She was a quiet child who was kind of a loner.  On the TV show she is shown as a nice, innocent, happy kid.  She spends a lot of time taking care of her pet spiders.  Her favorite toy is her Marie Antoinette doll, which she had guillotined.  In the movie versions Wednesday was more serious.  She had a dark sense of humor and was always trying to her or murder? her brother.  The best example of this is when she strapped her brother into an electric chair and is about to switch it on.  She has actually flipped the switch but Pugsley never dies.  Like the rest of the family she is partly immortal.

Pugsley either doesn't care or enjoys being tortured by his sister.  Originally he was named Pubert)  He was like a Damian-like character in the movies.  On TV he is a loving older brother who was inventive and mechanically inclined.  In the movie versions he isn't intelligent or independent.  He is basically Wednesday's sidekick.

In recent a recent cartoon version Pugsley and Wednesday are are a mix of their other TV and movie characters.  Wednesday is generally happy and optimistic.  She is sophisticated like in the movies.  Pugsley is a chemical and mechanical genius.   Some times he's not that smart.

From what we are shown the kids seem to be home-schooled.  They learn from Grandmama and Uncle Fester.  An attempt was made to enroll them in the local elementary school, but it did not work out.

In the first movie, the children do attend an elementary school. And in the second movie they are on summer vacation from school.

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Pubert

In "Addams Family Values", Gomez and Morticia have a 3rd child.  It is a son and they named it Pubert.  The child has a mustache and doesn't seem to get hurt.  He shoots flaming arrows.  Originally Pugsley was supposed to be name Pubert but Charles Addams thought the censors wouldn't allow the name.  The movie (Addams Family Values) was made in 1993 so the censors were a bit easier to deal with.

Pubert is mentioned in the 1998 movie "Addams Family Reunion".  On a series which aired on The Family Channel Wednesday mentions that there was a third sibling, but they ate it. 

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Uncle Fester and Grandmama (picture)

Fest is bald, chubby man.  He has dark, sunken eyes and has a sinister grin.  He often lights bulbs by sticking them in his mouth.  On TV He was Morticia's uncle, so he wasn't technically an Addams.  In other cartoons an movies he became Gomez's older brother.

Grandmama is Gomez's mother during the 1960s TV series.  Her name during that series was "Eudora Addams".  In the movies and animated TV series she is Morticia's mother and is named "Esmerelda Frump".   Grandmama is a which and makes potions, spells, and hexes.  She does some fortune-telling.  She wears a shawl and has frizzy hair.  On the original TV series, Mother Frump is a separate character from Grandmama.  On the cartoon series Granmama is only known as "Granny".

The family servant is a hand, just a hand.  It crawls around or stays in it's box until it's called for.  It's name is "Thing".  He is Gomez's childhood friend.  Thing gets the mail, write letters, pats people on the shoulder, and other unusual tasks.  He communicates by using signals similar to sign language.

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Lurch is a tall, dead looking manservant.  He groans and moans and just does his job.  I saw a movie where people wear their birthday suits and play checkers in the bedroom.  It was a spoof on The Addams Family.  I was disgusted and even more disgusted the fifth time I watched it.  I was even more disgusted when I played the whole thing in slow motion.  Back to Lurch.  He doesn't know his own strength and often messes things up because of his big size and strength.  He is sometimes seen playing the harpsichord and organ like a pro.  In Addams Family Values Lurch survives being hit on the head with a 20-pound cannonball.  He didn't even flinch.  On the sitcom he spoke, even answered the phone.  In the movie versions he only grunted or sighed.

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Cousin Itt is Gomez's .....can you guess it?......cousin.  Itt visits the family on and off.  He is short and has hair so long it basically covers most of him.  I wonder if Captain Caveman was inspired by Itt or Itt was inspired by Captain Cavemen.  If you don't know who Captain Caveman is Google him.  See the picture below.  You couldn't see Itt's eyes or mouth through the hair.

Cousin Itt drives a 3-wheeled car: a Messerschmitt KR175.   On Phil of the Future there is a teacher whose name is Mr. Messerschmitt.  We never see Cousin Itt's face or body.  He just mumbles and makes odd noises.  Only the family seems to understand what he is saying.  

Cleopatra is an African Strangler, a man-eating plant. She eats meatballs made of Yak and other tasty meats. Morticia had Cleopatra before she and Gomez married, having grown her from a seedling.

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Houseguests

Some of the guests to the Addams family home are:

Ophelia (Morticia's older sister)

Melancholia (Morticia's cousin)

morticia's mother (Fester's sister) -- Hester Frump (She was the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz)

Other wierd family members are mentioned but not shown on the sitcom.

Neighbors

The family's neighbors see the family as scary, weird, and to be avoided.  On the TV shows and the movies people try to change the family to make them more acceptable but it doesn't work.  The family see the outside world as being unusual.

Morticia lights candles by touching them.  She smokes to relax, but right from her body not with a cigar or cigarette.

Gomez can light cigars just by taking them out of his pocket.  When he puts the cigar back in his pocket it goes out safely.  He can do complicated mathematics in his head.  He makes weird noises when he does these calculations.

Fester creates his own electricity and magnetism.  He also explodes whenever he wants.  He never gets hurt or dies.   When he gets a migraine headache he puts his head in a press.  This solves the problem and doesn't kill him.  

Grandmama can fly on a broom.

Pugsley can hang from trees by his teeth.  We hear about this but don't see it.

At six years of age Wednesday was strong enough to bring Gomez down with a judo hold.

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The Addams Family didn't always have success.  It was seen as being based on ordinary people and not snooty people.  William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker didn't publish the Addams Family cartoons.  Shawn saw the Addams Family cartoons as cartoons for rif raff.  He did publish other works from Charles Addams.  After the TV version was cancelled, Shawn started publishing the Addams Family cartoons.

In 1972 a pilot for a musical based on the Addams Family was made by ABC.  The pilot was aired but was not picked up for a series.  We came to Canada in 1972 and I was 4.  That's a long time ago.

A reunion movie was made (Halloween With The New Addams Family).  It aired on NBC October 30, 1977.  Most of the cast was featured.  

Live Action continued

In the 1990s, Orion Pictures (which by then had inherited the rights to the series) developed a film version, The Addams Family.  Orion had to sell the US rights to Paramount because of money troubles.  A sequel, Addams Family Values, was made.  That movie had less restrictions when it came to sick humor which was more like the original Addams cartoon humor.  A third movie was to be made but was cancelled because of the sudden death of actor Raul Julia (Gomez).

Warner Bros. made a direct-to-video movie called Addams Family Reunion in 1998.  The movie had nothing to do with the Paramount movies.  It was actually made to be a pilot for another television series (live-action).  The New Addams Family was produced and shot in Canada.  Tim Curry played the part of Gomez in the third movie using the Raul Julia style.  The new sitcom's Gomez was done in John Astin's style.  

 

 

 

The series ran during the 1998–1999 season on Fox Family. The New Addams Family TV show is an updated version of the well-known 1960s The Addams Family show. The new show is very familiar as it stars parents Morticia and Gomez and their children Pugsley and Wednesday. Also making a return are the characters Uncle Fester, Grandmama, Lurch, Cousin Itt and Thing. The New Addams Family was produced and shot in Vancouver, Canada, and ran during the 1998–1999 season on ABC Family. There are 65 episodes produced that originally aired over the course of one season. Some of the episodes are actually remakes of episodes that aired in the original The Addams Family series. John Astin returned to the franchise in some episodes of this series, albeit as Grandpa Addams (Gomez's grandfather, a character introduced in Addams Family Reunion). Pubert's absence in the new series was explained in an early episode when Wednesday mentioned that "There were three of us, but Pugsley ate the little one." The cast included Glenn Taranto as Gomez Addams, Ellie Harvie as Morticia, Michael Roberds as Fester, Brody Smith as Pugsley, Nicole Fugere as Wednesday, John DeSantis as Lurch, Betty Phillips as Grandmama and Steven Fox as Thing.

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Animation

Two animated television spin-offs and an animated guest appearance have also been produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions.

The Addams Family's first animated appearance was on the third episode of Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family" (a.k.a. "Wednesday is Missing"), which first aired on CBS Saturday morning September 23, 1972. Four of the original cast (John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, and Ted Cassidy) returned for the special which involved the Addamses in a mystery with the Scooby-Doo gang. The Addams Family characters were drawn to the specifications of the original Charles Addams comics. After the episode aired, fans wanted more animated adventures featuring the Addamses, and Hanna-Barbera responded in kind.

The first animated series ran on Saturday mornings from 1973–1975 on NBC. In a departure from the original series, this series took the Addamses on the road in a Victorian-style RV. This series also marked the point where the relations between characters were retconned so that Fester was now Gomez' brother, and Grandmama was now Morticia's mother (though the old relations would be revisited in the 1977 TV movie, to keep continuity with the original sitcom). Although Coogan and Cassidy reprised their roles, Astin and Jones did not, their parts being recast with Hanna-Barbera voice talents Lennie Weinrib as Gomez and Janet Waldo as Morticia, while none other than an eight-year-old Jodie Foster provided the voice of Pugsley. Again, the characters were drawn to the specifications of the original Charles Addams comics. One season was produced, and the second season consisted of reruns. A complementary comic book series was produced in connection with the show, but it lasted only three issues.

The second animated series ran on Saturday mornings from 1992–1995 on ABC after producers realized the success of the 1991 Addams Family movie. This series returned to the familiar format of the original series, with the Addams Family facing their sitcom situations at home. John Astin returned to the role of Gomez, and celebrities Rip Taylor and Carol Channing took over the roles of Fester and Grandmama, respectively, while veteran voice actors Jim Cummings, Debi Derryberry, Jeannie Elias and Pat Fraley did the voices of Lurch, Wednesday, Pugsley and Cousin Itt. New artistic models of the characters were used for this series, though still having a passing resemblance to the original comics. Two seasons were produced, with the third year containing reruns. Oddly in this series, Wednesday maintained her macabre, brooding attitude from the Addams Family movies, but her facial expressions and body language conveyed the happy-go-lucky, fun attitude of her portrayal in the original television show.

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Games

Six video games released from 1989 to 1994 were based on The Addams Family. Fester's Quest (1989) was a top-down shooter that featured Uncle Fester. The Addams Family platformer was released for Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy, with later ports for Sega Genesis (based on the Super NES version), Master System and Game Gear (both based on the NES version but with different graphics), TurboGrafx-CD (developed separately) and ZX Spectrum; these games, released by Ocean Software (Flying Edge in the case of the Sega consoles ports) (ICOM Simulations for the TurboGrafx-CD version), these were based on the first movie rather than the TV series or cartoons. The games' sequel, The Addams Family: Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt (1993), also by Ocean Software was based on the ABC animated series, and was released for Super NES, NES and Game Boy (although the latter two were just 8-bit remakes of the first SNES game, swapping Pugsley and Gomez's roles). Addams Family Values (1994) by Ocean was based on the movie's sequel and returned to the style of gameplay seen in the original Fester's Quest.

A Game Boy Color game was released in the 1990s for promotion of "The New Addams Family". The game was simply titled "The New Addams Family Series".

A pinball game by Midway (under the Bally label) was released in 1992 shortly after the movie. It broke previous sales records by selling over 20,000 units.

Musical In May, 2007 it was announced that a musical was being produced for the Broadway stage featuring an adaptation of the Addams Family. Broadway veterans Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice are writing the book while Andrew Lippa was writing the score. Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott have been hired to direct the production.

The Addams Family Cast

Gomez Addams is portrayed by

John Astin (Live-action TV 1964–1966, 1977, Animated TV 1972, 1992–1994).

Jack Riley (The Addams Family Fun-House 1973)

Lennie Weinrib (Animated TV 1973–1974)

Raϊl Juliα (Live-action movies 1991, 1993)

Tim Curry (Live-action movie 1998)

Glenn Taranto (Live-action TV 1998–1999)

Morticia Addams is portrayed by

Carolyn Jones (Live-action TV 1964–1966, 1977, Animated TV 1972) Liz Torres (The Addams Family Fun-House 1973)

Janet Waldo (Animated TV 1973–1974)

Anjelica Huston (Live-action movies 1991, 1993)

Nancy Linari (Animated TV 1992–1994)

Daryl Hannah (Live-action movie 1998)

Ellie Harvie (Live-action TV 1998–1999)

Pugsley Addams is portrayed by

Ken Weatherwax (Live-action TV 1964–1966, 1977) Jodie Foster (Animated TV 1972–1974)

Butch Patrick (The Addams Family Fun-House 1973)

 

The Addams Family Cast continued

 

Jimmy Workman (Live-action movies 1991, 1993)

Jeannie Elias (Animated TV 1992–1994)

Jerry Messing (Live-action movie 1998)

Brody Smith (Live-action TV 1998–1999)

 

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