Monday, October 1, 2012

Classic TV: The Addams Family (1964)

Charles Addams created his bizarre Addams Family in a series of one-panel cartoons for The New Yorker, and in 1964, Gomez, Morticia, and their brood transitioned to television, achieving icon status in the process.

Simply put, the Addamses flew in the face of common sense. Gomez (John Astin, ex-I'm Dickens, He's Fenster) was a lawyer, but we never saw him in a courtroom. However, it was a stroke of genius to have a lion on hand in lieu of a watchdog. Who'd ever try to rob a house guarded by a lion, anyway? Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan) seemed immune to electricity, such that he could charge up a light bulb by putting it in his mouth. The Addamses seemed happy with failure, and upset with success, exactly opposite of everyone else. Go figure.

Here's a cute little clip of Wednesday (Lisa Loring) trying to teach Lurch (Ted Cassidy) how to dance....

The series lasted just two seasons, but would be revived three times, twice in animated form (1973, 1991), and spawned a pair of feature films, with Raul Julia as Gomez. It's just too bad no one has tried to revive the series again.

Rating: A-.


magicdog said...

I always loved the Addams Family! More than the Munsters in fact!

Thanks to changing times however, the family doesn't seem quite as strange as they did nearly 50 years ago. At most, pleasingly eccentric! They homeschooled the kids (until the school board urged them to send them to the local public school) and Gomez was aghast to "send his children away"! They even challenged the fairy tale of the dragon being slain by the knight! It seemed rather prophetic they'd demand that book be banned from the school!

My father used to call my Uncle Sy "Uncle Fester"! He looked a bit like Jackie Coogan at that age and he'd ask him to put a light bulb in his mouth! Luckily, Uncle Sy wasn't going for it!

I remember watching the 1973 animated series, but no stories in particular except for their guest starring turn on the New Scooby Doo Movies. The live action films I chose to ignore, as well as the animated series based on it.

hobbyfan said...

Take note of what I wrote over in Saturday Morning Archives about Munsters Today and how that show, for all intents & purps, tried to rip off the Addamses, which contributes to the loss of the Addamses' uniqueness......