Charles Addams’ Birthday (Addams Family)

One of my favorite shows growing up in the 1960s was the quirky show, “The Addams Family”.  I loved all the strange characters, such as Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Wednesday and Pugsley but my favorite characters were Thing and Cousin It. Doesn’t everyone remembers that finger snapping theme song!  We now own the complete series on DVD and my daughter enjoys watching the shows.

Charles Addams (Born: January 7, 1912 Died: September 29, 1988) was a freelance artist who created the humorous, dark cartoons called the Addams Family that began appearing in the New Yorker magazine in 1938.  The eccentric, wealthy Addams family delighted in the macabre and they were considered a satirical version of a normal American family.    The members of the Addams family were completely unaware that their behavior, attitude and even their home were both bizarre and frightening to other people. The Addams family has been adapted over the years into a television series, animated cartoon, films and even a Broadway musical.

The Addams Family television show

The television show, “The Addams Family”, is based on the characters from Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons.  The original 64 episodes aired for two seasons on ABC from September 1964 to April 1966.  The show was 30 minutes in length and was filmed in black and white.  The Addams home was a gloomy mansion on 0001 Cemetery Lane next to a cemetery and a swamp.

The cast of “The Addams Family” –

Gomez (played by John Astin) is a very wealthy man who never seems to go to work and spends a lot of time with his family.  He is passionately in love with his wife; in fact his passion greatly increases when she speaks French to him.  His hobby in model trains and he enjoys seeing them collide with each other or dynamiting them and watching them explode.

Morticia (played by Carolyn Jones) is often the calm center of the chaotic household.  She is beautiful and loves the arts, raises flesh-eating plants and spends time trimming her roses by cutting off the rose buds and arranging the thorny stems in a vase.

Uncle Fester (played by Jackie Coogan) is Morticia’s uncle.  He frequently places a lightbulb in his mouth and lights it up.

Lurch (played by Ted Cassidy) is the butler.  He is summoned by a hangman’s noose bell pull and when he arrives he always says, “You rang?”

Wednesday (played by Lisa Loring) is the daughter.  She is the youngest member of the family and is a strange but sweet little girl.  She raises spiders and her favorite pet is a black widow spider named Homer.  She also likes to play with her beheaded doll, Marie Antoinette.

Pugsley (played by Ken Weatherwax) is the son and older brother.  He enjoys engineering and playing with his blasting caps.  He has a pet octopus named Aristotle.

Grandma Addams (played by Bloosom Rock) is the mother of Gomez.  She is a witch and likes to tell fortunes.

Thing is a detached hand that appears out of boxes and can go instantly to any box or other container in the house.  Obviously he doesn’t speak but he communicates with his hand.

Cousin It (played by Felix Silla) is Gomez’s cousin who is rather short and covered completely from head to toes by long hair.  He speaks very fast gibberish that the family seems to have no difficulty understanding.


  1. The Addams Family and its rival series, the Munsters, both debuted in September 1964 and both were canceled the following year.
  2. Gomez was originally engaged to Morticia’s older sister, Ophelia, in an arranged marriage.  A few days before the wedding, Gomez meets Morticia and they fall in love and get married instead.  Carolyn Jones played both characters and to differentiate one from the other, Ophelia was blonde with daisies in her hair.
  3. The interior of the Addams Family house was inspired by the real Manhattan apartment of Charles Addams.  Just like the television show, the décor included suits of armor and other oddities.
  4. Ted Cassidy (Lurch) usually was the hand of Thing, unless they were in the same scene together then someone else played the part.  Thing was mostly a right hand and sometimes had an arm when it reached outside the box for something.
  5. Wednesday Addams name is a reference to the nursery rhyme, “Wednesday’s child is full of woe”.