“They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky” – yet this family of oddballs are oddly endearing, proving just as popular today as when they first launched back in 1938. Starting out as a series of cartoons published in The New Yorker, The Addams Family has spawned an entire franchise of television shows, movies, video games and more.
Perhaps this lasting appeal is in part due to viewers seeing a reflection of their own families underneath all the pale makeup and supernatural goings-on. The Addams are in imperfect family, in stark contrast to the typical families seen in early sitcoms. They argue, they make mistakes, they experience rivalry, jealousy and anger – all issues which, if you have also experienced, you may wish to consider family counselling. But the overwhelming message of both the TV shows and movies is that despite what outsiders might think of their unconventional lifestyle – they are a loving and supportive family who care deeply for each other.
With a franchise lasting over 70 years, there are many things you might not know about everyone’s favourite weirdos. So, here’s 13 facts to share with fellow Addams Family fans!
1. In the most iconic TV adaptation, the living room was actually pink.
Yes, it seems that some of the spooky atmosphere might have been down to the series being filmed in black and white. The Addam’s living room was actually a bright shade of pink!
2. In 1972, they teamed up with Scooby-Doo.
Making many 70s kids dreams come true, The Addams Family’s first animated appearance was on the third episode of Hanna-Barbera’s The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
3. Everyone’s favourite spooky child was actually named after a nursery rhyme.
Wednesday Addams’ was inspired by the traditional children’s rhyme ‘Monday’s Child’. The rhyme describes Wednesday’s child as ‘full of woe’.
4. Before the TV show, the characters did not have names.
Cartoonist Charles Addams did not give his characters names when they appeared in The New Yorker. The names were chosen after the TV series was underway.
5. They were ahead of their time.
The Addams were the first TV family to be shown using a home computer. Gomez used ‘Whizzo‘ to calculate the cost of a trip to the moon, and to predict horse races to finance such a trip.
6. Creator Charles Addams was also a little spooky.
Charles Addams was known for having somewhat macabre interests. His house was apparently filled with torture instruments and medieval weapons.
7. Thing’s full name is actually Thing T. Thing.
Also – Wednesday’s middle name is Friday!
8. Most of the TV show’s set was recycled.
The set for The Addams Family was mostly recycled from a 1064 movie: The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
9. The pinball machine is incredibly popular.
The Addams Family pinball machine is the bestselling pinball machine of all time with sales of 20,000 units. The game debuted in 1992, to promote the movie which has been released a year earlier. It’s still so popular that Farsight Studios released a digital version of the table in 2015.
10. Cousin Itt joined the family a little later.
Cousin Itt is the only family member not to be created by Charles Addams himself. However, once the production crew of the TV show described him, Addams produced sketches and character designs for the hairy cousin.
11. There have been five video games (not counting the pinball machine) inspired by the Addams Family.
They are – Fester’s Quest (Nintendo Entertainment System), The Addams Family (MegaDrive, SNES & more), The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt (SNES, Gameboy), Addams Family Values (SNES, MegaDrive), and The New Addams Family (Gameboy Colour).
12. Cousin It wasn’t supposed to be understood by the audience.
Cousin Itt generally couldn’t be understood by anyone outside of the family and sounded mostly like gibberish. To create his voice, one of the producers spoke nonsense into a tape recorder and played it back at high speed.
13. The have been praised as a very positive example of unconventional families.
Psychiatrist Stephen Cox, author of ‘The Addams Chronicles: An Altogether Ooky Look at the Addams Family’ praised the portrayal. When the character were first published, and brought to television they broke a number of boundaries. The parents were treated as equals, while media families at the time were generally set up with the father as head of the household. They enjoyed a passionate, sexual and caring relationship, something brushed over by their contemporaries. And despite the weirdness, they were supportive parents who cared for their children, as well as extended family members.