Before book and comic book adaptations became a thing, Hollywood liked to look at the pages of daily newspapers to get some ideas. That is why comics strips such as Dennis the Menace and Blondie became sitcoms, and Peanuts kicked off a legendary animated series entitled “Charlie Brown Specials.”
But, probably one of the most remarkable comic strip adaptations from the 1960s was The Addams Family. This is a gothic comedy that was taken from one-panel comic strips by Charles Addams in The New Yorker. It was adapted as a TV series in 1964, and since then, the Addams Family has been an icon. A trilogy of films followed the TV series during the 1990s, video games, Broadway shows, and even a pinball game.
Image Source: By Charles Addams, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15992920
In this article, we will take a look back and find out some fun and interesting facts about The Addams Family.
- The Addams family’s characters did not have names until the TV show was made – Charles Addams, the Addams Family comic strip creator, did not name these creepy characters when he made his one-panel comics. When the Addams Family was made into a TV series, the show producers came up with the names of the characters. They even made Wednesday’s middle name “Friday.”
- Speaking of names, Gomez’s character was supposed to be “Repelli” – During the brainstorming for the patriarch’s name, creator Charles Addams suggested two names – Gomez and Repelli. Actor John Astin made the final decision. Clearly, he made the right choice.
- John Astin initially auditioned for the role of Lurch – Astin originally auditioned for the position of Lurch. However, the show’s directors thought that it would be more fitting if he played the role of Gomez Addams because they share a lot of similarities.
- Teddy Cassidy had two play two roles – Aside from being assigned to play Lurch, Teddy Cassidy was also asked if he could lend the production a hand and play as the Thing.
- The actress who portrayed Granny Frump is known for her witch roles – Morticia Addams’ mother, Granny Frump, was characterized by Margaret Hamilton. She was also known for her role as the Wicked Witch of the West in the iconic film The Wizard of Oz.
- The house used in the sitcom had pink walls – Even if the sitcom aired when the television sets were transitioning from black and white to full color. The Addams Family sitcom was shot in black and white. That is why to make the walls appear black in the film, and the set designers used a pink color for the Addams’ family’s wall.
- Lurch was meant to be mute – Producers of the show wanted Lurch to be mute. However, Ted Cassidy decided to ad-lib the iconic line “You rang?” that is why Lurch was given a voice. He was not given many speaking roles, but Lurch did give out a few words from time to time.
- Cousin Itt was not in the Addams Family comic strip – The character of Cousin Itt was added because David Levy, the show’s producer, decided to add him in. They asked Charles Addams to draw a cartoon that features Itt and introduce him to the comic strip before adding him to the show.
- The set of the Addams Family sitcom was reused from The Unsinkable Molly Brown – Some of the interiors used in the set of the Addams Family came from the set of the movie “The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Both of the shows were produced under MGM.
- The Addams Family were the first family in American TV to ever have a home computer – In one episode, the Addams family was seen using the UNIVAC.
- Creator Charles Addams made about $1 million from the sitcom alone – During the episode payment, residuals, and reruns, Charles Addams made about $141,276, about $1,073,074 today. Addams was supposed to receive a bit more than that if it wasn’t for his divorce settlement, where he agreed to give 10 percent of his cut to his ex-wife.
- The house shown on the show was real – On the opening credits of the show, you will see a home’s façade. This house was real, and it was located at 21 Chester Place in Los Angeles. In order to make the house look a bit spookier, the show’s producer hired special effect technicians to add a third floor with a tower. However, the house was eventually demolished in 1972.
- After the show came out, The New Yorker refused to run the cartoon – Even though Charles Addams was drawing for the New Yorker since 1938, the publication did not agree to publish the comic strip after the TV show came out.
- The Addams Family sitcom was canceled after two seasons – The Addams Family premiered as The Munsters did. That is why the viewers quickly got disinterested in the monster sitcom genre. That is why the Addams family got the ax after two seasons.