Nov 13, 2016
Charles Addams/The Addams Family
On Christmas morning, two kids play gleefully with a guillotine. Or they start a fire in the fireplace in anticipation of Santa Claus's visit.
A boy brings models his scout uniform, while his disgusted parents look on. "He certainly doesn't take after my family," the mother exclaims.
Addams never intended for his unnamed characters to be taken as a single macabre family, but they appeared together so often, and in so many different contexts, that readers assumed that they were related. Eventually he gave in and called them the Addams Family.
John Astin), Morticia (Caroline Jones), their children Wednesday and Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Grandmama, their butler Lurch, and "It," a sentient hand. They were not quite as homicidal as their counterparts in the New Yorker cartoons; indeed, many episodes involved them helping neighbors, friends, or strangers with their personal problems. They were as close-knit and supportive, and as aggressive in promoting heterosexual romance, as any sitcom family of the 1960s. But still, they constantly blurred the boundaries between "normal" and "abnormal," making them a favorite of gay kids who felt "different."
By the way, if you remember the series, you might be interested in seeing Ted Cassidy, who played the Frankenstein-like butler Lurch, in a swimsuit (top photo). Apparently he was quite a hunk.