They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re all together ooky…and most likely more fun than your own family.
This fun ’60s show featured an oddball clan led by father Gomez (John Astin), mother Morticia (Carolyn Jones), children Pugsley (Ken Weatherwax) and Wednesday (Lisa Loring), the witch-like Grandmama (Blossom Rock), light bulb enthusiast Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan), the hairy-adorable Cousin Itt (Felix Silla), and the loyal and prompt butler Lurch (Ted Cassidy). The family was always frequently aided by a helpful hand-in-a-box named Thing.
The house was a museum (as stated by the theme song) filled with curious objects like a noose that rang a gong for the butler, a foghorn doorbell, a rack, an iron maiden, suits of armor, an elaborate train set with frequently crashing trains, and a bear rug that roared. Being a typical family, they had their pets: Morticia had an African Strangler plant named Cleopatra and a vulture named Zelda; Pugsley had Aristotle the octopus; Wednesday had spiders like her black widow named Homer; and of course, there was their lion named Kitty Cat.
The family had a rather spooky view of life. They lived for Halloween, ate weird foods and even poisons, clipped the roses off of their thorny stems and kept the stems, practiced fencing in the living room, made potions, had a dungeon, camped in swamps, and were generally odd, much to the chagrin of neighbors and the fright and/or awe of folks that stopped by. The oddness didn’t affect the Addams family wealth, though, and Gomez (a lawyer) employed a stock broker who managed the weirdness in the name of money.
Among those that dropped in at the Addams’s residence: Vitto Scotti and Virginia Gregg, because they stopped in everywhere; Margaret Hamilton as Morticia’s mother (a fitting role for the Wicked Witch of the West); Don Rickles; Parley Baer; Ellen Corby down from Walton Mountain; Hal Smith, better known as Mayberry town drunk Otis; Meg Wylie; Marty Ingels; Jack LaLane; Peter Bonerz before he became a dentist in the same building as Bob Newhart; Madge Blake, Dick Grayson’s Aunt Harriet; and Richard Deacon.
While the family was pretty bizarre in a fun way, they still dealt with the usual family troubles and resolved them in their own way. When a neighbor told Wednesday that witches didn’t exist (like telling a kid there’s no Santa), they held a seance to conjure up a long dead (burned at the stake) witch relative named Aunt Singe. When Morticia thought Gomez had gone broke, she and the rest of the clan rallied around to make money on the sly so his ego wouldn’t be hurt (Lurch and Uncle Fester were escorts, Morticia taught fencing, Grandmama became a beautician, and the children set up a lemonade stand that sold something not quite like lemonade…even Thing sold pencils). When Gomez was insulted by the property tax bill (it was something like eight bucks and he thought they should have been charged much more for their beautiful palace), he ran for mayor with the family helping his campaign.
They helped each other, supported each other, and genuinely loved each other. Keep your Romeo and Juliet; I want a love like Morticia and Gomez!
This is one of those shows that I watched a lot as a kid, enjoying the randomness and wackiness of the family. I’ve since rediscovered it and am now enjoying all of the hilarious dialogue that I missed as a kid.
Fester: (talking about the neighbor that told Wednesday that witches didn’t exist) I still think he should be horsewhipped. I’m going to get a horse!
Morticia: (in response to Gomez asking if Aunt Singe likes children) All witches love children. Remember Hansel and Gretel?
Morticia: (explaining Cousin Itt’s dilemma) He hasn’t quite found himself.
Gomez: And with Cousin Itt that isn’t easy. He looks the same from every angel.
Not to mention the variety of meanings of Lurch’s groans and Cousin Itt’s gibberish.
It’s one of those shows that I wish would have lasted longer than two seasons, but I’m still happy that I found it again. So let’s sing the theme song one more time!