Sunday, 5 April 2015
130 The Addams Family
First watched : 1973
It was round about this time that our neighbour Mrs M became a bit less bothered about us playing indoors so this is the first of a string of programmes - almost invariably on ITV - that were first, if not exclusively, glimpsed next door.
The Addams Family was made between 1964 and 1966 , inspired by the satirical cartoons of Charles Addams in the New Yorker magazine ( whose proprietors were less than enthusiastic about having a popular TV show tied to their upmarket publication ) about a family with a pronounced taste for the Gothic and macabre. All subsequent adaptations are based almost entirely on this series rather than the original cartoons where the family members weren't even named.
The appeal of the series was always the contrast between the horror trappings and the good-natured family comedy underneath. They were all likeable characters with great affection for each other. The enduring appeal of the series can be judged its continuing use as a source for not-always-kind nicknames. Any girl with long straight dark hair is likely to get called Morticia particularly if her clothes are less than colourful while any over-sized but apparently slow-witted guy has a good chance of being likened to the lugubrious butler, Lurch.
The most notable member of the cast was Jackie Coogan as the creepy Uncle Fester who achieved early fame as "The Kid" in Charlie Chaplin's film of the same name and later became the catalyst for legislation protecting the earnings of child stars when he sued his parents for squandering his earnings. John Astin ( Gomez ) was the last member of the original cast to be involved with the franchise voicing his character in the animated series of 1992. Apart from Lisa Loring who played Wednesday he is the only surviving member of the cast at the time of writing.
My only gripe with the series was that the child characters Wednesday and Pugsley ( who was originally to be called Pubert ! ) were not always involved in the storylines.