6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'The Addams Family'
October 13, 2016
They’re creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky, and October is the perfect time to talk about The Addams Family.
The Addams Family began in the 1930s as a series of cartoons in The New Yorker by Charles Addams. None of the macabre, gothic characters who lived in an old spooky mansion had names, which left the job to the writers of the 1964-66 ABC TV series version.
To achieve for black-and-white TV the right mixture of blacks and grays in the Addams’s house, set decorators had to paint the set of The Addams Family different shades of pink and red.
While the ‘60s The Addams Family was the best-known TV incarnation, it only aired 64 episodes and didn’t earn blockbuster ratings. Still numerous attempts have been made to revive the show. A Saturday morning cartoon aired in 1973, then a made-for-TV reunion movie in 1977, another animated series in 1992, and The New Addams Family in 1998. And then there’s the musical variety show The Addams Family Fun-House. A pilot was made and aired in 1972, but it didn’t become a regular series.
The Addams’s hulking butler Lurch was played by 6’5” actor Ted Cassidy. He also played another role on the series: Thing. Or at least his hand did. Thing was the Addams’s pet disembodied hand who lived in a box.
Cassidy-as-Lurch was so popular that he was approached to cut a record. “The Lurch” was a minor hit—and a minor accompanying dance craze—in 1965.
Two big-screen Addams Family movies did very well at the box office in the early ‘90s. Why was there never a third one? There almost was. In 2010, Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions) announced that they’d acquired the rights to make a stop-motion animated movie based on Charles Addams’ original single-panel cartoons. They hired Tum Burton to direct it, as he’d directed and produced a number of creepy stop-motion animated movies, such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride. But in 2013, Illumination cancelled the movie for unknown reasons.