Things You Might Not Know About the Addams Family Television Series
How Much Do You Know?
When I was a child, I loved The Addams Family. I begged my parents to let me stay up late to watch it and reveled in every peculiarity in each episode. That show was the inspiration for my taking up fencing and learning French, among so many other pursuits. (I'm just happy now that I never followed the example of Wednesday and refrained from chopping the heads off my Barbie dolls, as they are worth a small fortune.) This was one of a number of sitcoms of the same era which featured families out of place (The Munsters,Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies come to mind).
One of the things I rejoiced in was the malleable nature of reality in the show. Sometimes characters that had been related to each other in one way in one episode were related in a different way in another episode. Sometimes Wednesday and Pugsley went to school, sometimes they didn't. But there were always constants running through the show, and I loved those too!
Recently my local station began middle-of-the-night reruns of this classic 1960s sitcom, and I started to do research and take careful notes, and I discovered some little-known facts about the series and actors. If you enjoy this show, you're bound to enjoy some of these facts!
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The People Associated with the Show
- Ted Cassidy, who played Lurch, was an accomplished organist.
- Ted Cassidy, who was an accomplished organist, did not play the harpsichord himself. Cassidy played a mute keyboard, and Vic Mizzy, the composer for the show, played the harpsichord parts, which were dubbed in later.
- Ted Cassidy also played Thing T. Thing, except in scenes where the two of them appeared together.
- Ted Cassidy worked as a DJ in Dallas, Texas, and interviewed Kennedy assassination eyewitnesses W.E. Newman and Gayle Newman for WFAA.
- The role of Lurch was supposed to be silent, but Cassidy improvised "You rang?" in his audition, and it was a hit.
- Although the adult actors in the series did relatively well after the series ended, the two child actors, Lisa Loring and Ken Weatherwax, did not fare well later in life.
- The producer of the series, David Levy, worked closely with the originator of the idea, Charles Addams.
- Nat Perrin rewrote every script. Gomez Addams' personality (and his mustache) resembles that of Groucho Marx, a close friend of Perrin.
- Carolyn Jones, who played Morticia, received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in the series.
- Jackie Coogan (who played Uncle Fester) was married to film star Betty Grable.
- Jackie Coogan appeared at his audition already in the character of Fester, including bald head, makeup, and costume.
- The Addams Family series has several Texas connections: Ted Cassidy worked in Dallas; Carolyn Jones was born in Amarillo; the "Old Red" courthouse in Dallas, Texas, is designed in Richardson Romanesque, an architectural style that was named after a specialist in Second-Empire style, the style of the Addams' house.
Characters on the Series
- Wednesday's middle name is either Thursday or Friday.
- Uncle Fester is always ready to "shoot someone in the back" with his blunderbuss. But you knew that. What you didn't know is that his blunderbuss is named Genevieve.
- Uncle Fester collects three-dollar bills.
- Grandmama first voted in the 1906 election, although women did not receive the right to vote until 1920.
- Grandmama has no given name or surname in the series.
- Grandmama occasionally uses aliases for fortunetelling; these are always names of famous French women, fictional or real.
- Thing T. Thing has a box from which he can emerge in every room of the Addams house, plus the glovebox of their car, a hole in the tree in the front yard, and Gomez's briefcase.
- Thing can communicate fluently in Morse code.
- Cousin Itt has an I.Q. of over 300.
- Gomez Addams is a lawyer by profession, but has never won a case. However, supposedly he has put a number of criminals behind bars, by acting as their defense attorney.
- Gomez Addams carried lit cigars in his suit pockets. To keep from catching his clothes on fire, the pockets were lined with asbestos.
- Gomez lived in Spain until he was six.
- Gomez has a daily Latin hour, in which he uses classical, not ecclesiastical pronunciation.
- The Guiness Book of World Records 2008 estimated Gomez's fortune at $8.2 million; Forbes 2007 estimated it at $2 billion.
- The Addams family motto is Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc (We gladly feast on those who would subdue us).
Lurch Appears in an Episode of Batman
The House, Furnishings, and Pets
- The Addams' pet piranhas are named Tristan and Isolde, a famous couple originally from Irish legend.
- The address of the Addams' house is 0001 Cemetery Lane.
- The Addams' pet vulture is named Zelda.
- The moose head that hangs in the parlor is named Pierre.
- The set for the living room has pink wallpaper and gold curtains. The wallpaper over the staircase leading to the upper story from the living room is green, and the harpsichord is white.
- Grandmama's shawl is red.
- The original house (modified with matte painting) was at 21 Chester Place in West Adams, now a part of Los Angeles, and was estimated to be worth $3,211,200 and comprised 14,400 square feet. A person named Adams rented the house at one time. While the house had four addresses, the most notable address was 747 Adams St.
- The Addams house is in the style of Second Empire architecture, made famous in the U.S. by H.H. Richardson. Richardson was so famous he had a style named after him.
- The Addams drove a 1933 Packard V-12.
Since 1860, the Addams family has supported every loser in U.S. Presidential races (their campaign posters can be seen in the basement in Season 1, Episode 4: "Gomez, the Politician").
- Stephen Douglas (1860, lost to Abraham Lincoln)
- Al Smith (1928, lost to Herbert Hoover)
- Alf Landon (1936, lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
- Wendell Wilkie (1940, lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt)
- Thomas E. Dewey (1944, lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and 1948, lost to Harry S Truman)
- Adlai Stevenson (1952 and 1956, lost to Dwight David Eisenhower)
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