Saturday, November 12, 2011

Geek TV #8: The Addams Family!

addams01Concept: They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky, the Addams Family, adapted for television based on characters appearing in Charles Addams' cartoon panels.

Total Episodes: 64

Original Air Dates: 1964-1966

Original Network: ABC

Geek Factor: 9

Characters:
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Gomez Adams
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Morticia Addams
Gomez Addams (John Astin): Incredibly wealthy and eccentric, and madly, passionately in love with his wife Morticia, whom he refers to as “Cara Mia.” His ardor is heightened whenever Morticia speaks even a word of French. Gomez doesn't work, but prefers to spend his time with his family. He is Spanish, and occasionally throws in Spanish words and phrases in his speech. He is able to perform complex calculations in his head, and is remarkably acrobatic. He is Grandmama's son. His personal portrait shows him standing on his head. Gomez is well-versed in several forms of combat, and enjoys fencing with Morticia. He enjoys smoking cigars and playing with his model trains, causing them to crash.
Morticia Addams (nee Frump) (Carolyn Jones): A beautiful woman who dabbles in art, raises flesh-eating plants (her favorite is named Cleopatra), and trims her roses by cutting off the bud. She is able to light candles with her fingers and emit smoke. She remains calm when all else is chaos. Some sources suggest Morticia is a vampire of some kind. Her mother was Hester Frump, and she has an older sister named Ophelia.

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Uncle Fester
Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan): Morticia's uncle, exuberant and kind. He can make lightbulbs light up by placing them in his mouth. When angered by outsiders, he'll gab a blunderbuss and threaten to shoot them in the back. If shot by a cannonball, he's only mildly dazed. When he suffers from migraines, he puts his head into a screw press and tightens it (he also does this for fun).

Lurch (Ted Cassidy): The household butler, summoned by means of a bell pull that rings the massive bell of the mansion's bell tower. Lurch rarely speaks more than short sentences; most of his dialogue is “You rang?” when summoned, or his deep annoyed grunt. He is protective of the Addamses, in one episode patting down a plainclothes policeman and finding a gun, which he didn't return until the policeman showed his badge. He has super-strength and plays the harpsichord.
Grandmama Addams (Marie Blake, billed as Blossom Rock): Gomez' mother, a witch who creates potions, spells and hexes. She also does fortune telling, although not successfully. She serves as the maid to the Addams household.
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Wednesday Addams
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Pugsley Addams
Wednesday Friday Addams (Lisa Loring): Gomez and Morticia's daughter, six years old. Although sweet-natured, she raises spiders, beheads dolls, and practices ballet in a black tutu. Her pets are a black widow spider named Homer and a lizard named Lucifer.

Pugsley Addams (Ken Weatherwax): Wednesday's older brother, kind-hearted and smart. He enjoys engineering machines (sometimes with his father), playing with blasting caps, and has a pet octopus named Aristotle.

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Thing
Thing T. Thing (Ted Cassidy or Jack Voglin): A disembodied hand that appears out of boxes and other containers. Thing apparently has the ability to teleport between containers. Thing is responsible for common everyday tasks, such as retrieving the mail, writing letters, or giving a pat on the shoulder. When he's done these tasks, the family member he's done this for always says, “Thank you, Thing.” Thing is not unique, there was a female Thing called Lady Fingers, and another one called Esmerelda, introduced in different episodes.

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Cousin Itt
Cousin Itt (Felix Silva, Roger Arroyo): Gomez' cousin, a short creature completely hidden by head-to-floor long hair, who speaks in unintelligible gibberish that only the Addamses can understand. He wears sunglasses and occasionally a hat.

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Morticia's Sister, Ophelia
Ophelia Frump (Carolyn Jones): Morticia's older sister, Gomez was originally engaged to her in an arranged marriage until Gomez met Morticia. Ophelia has flowers growing in her hair and enjoys judo, which she can do remarkably well.


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Morticia's mother
Geek Guest-Stars: Margaret Hamilton, who played Morticia's mother, was of course the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, and also appeared on Mister Rogers Neighborhood, Journey Back to Oz (as the voice of Aunt Em), and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.
 
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John Astin on "Wild Wild West"
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Carolyn Jones on "Wonder Woman"
Geek Pedigree: John Astin has done voices for animated series, including Recess, Johnny Bravo, Pinky and the Brain, Duckman, and many others, including reprising his role as Gomez for the Addams Family animated series, played Grandpappa Addams in The New Addams Family, was Professor Albert Wickwire in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., appeared on several episodes of Eerie, Indiana and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, played Buddy Ryan on Night Court, appeared in three episodes of Rod Serling's Night Gallery, played the Riddler in two episodes of Batman, and was on one episode of The Wild Wild West.
Carolyn Jones played Queen Hippolyta in three episodes of The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, reprised her role as Morticia for the Addams Family animated series, appeared in an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, played Marsha, Queen of Diamonds in five episodes of Batman, and had appeared in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and House of Wax.
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Ted Cassidy on "Star Trek"
Ted Cassidy's stature and voice made him much in demand, doing a voice in Angry Red Planet, voicing Metallus and Tarko the Terrible on Space Ghost, voicing Frankenstein Jr., appearing in The Girl from UNCLE, Lost in Space, Batman (cameoing as Lurch), Star Trek (playing Ruk in “What are Little Girls Made Of,” Balok's puppet voice in “The Corbomite Manuever,” and providing the Gorn's voice in “Arena”), The Man From UNCLE, the voice of Galactus in The Fantastic Four, the voice of Igoo on The Herculoids, the voice of Meteor Man in the Galaxy Trio segments of Birdman, I Dream of Jeannie, Tarzan, voicing Injun Joe and his counterparts in The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, reprising his role as Lurch for the animated Addams Family, playing Bigfoot on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, playing Isiah in the TV movie Planet Earth, The Man From Atlantis, voicing the demon Balzaroth in the Dr. Strange TV movie, voicing the Thing in the 1978 Fantastic Four, providing voices for Black Manta, Brainiac and others in Challenge of the Super Friends, and voicing Godzilla in the animated series of the same name.
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Jackie Coogan
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Felix Silla on "Buck Rogers"
Jackie Coogan also appeared in episodes of I Dream of Jeannie and The Wild Wild West and reprised his role of Fester for the Addams Family animated series.

Felix Silla also played an Emperor Penguin in Batman Returns, played Dink in Spaceballs, Twiki in Buck Rugers in the 25th Century, an Ewok in Return of the Jedi, Colonel Poom in Lidsville, a Troll and a Goblin in separate episodes of Bewitched, Polka Dotted Horse and various characters on H. R. Pufnstuf, a child gorilla in Planet of the Apes, Willy the Midget in The Monkees, and played a Talosian on Star Trek.


DVD Release: Complete series box set.

Website: http://www.addamsfamily.com/ covers all the incarnations of the Addams Family!

Notes: Oddly enough, The Addams Family debuted in the same television season as The Munsters did! And I'm sure most, if not all, of you know that when the series was being developed, Charles Addams had to come up with names for just about all of the characters, since they didn't have names in the single-panel comics. Gomez almost ended up being called “Repelli”! When Jackie Coogan first auditioned for Fester, he had a full head of hair, and was turned down for the part. Undaunted, he went out, shaved his head, and reaudtioned, and was hired!

2 comments:

  1. and of course, Jackie Coogan is someone ALL child actors Should know cause he was a child actor whose money was taken by his parents. He sued them and received some of the money, and it led to the Coogan Act that protected Child actors money to a degree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All true, but I didn't consider it relevant to the post.

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