Charles Addams created a cartoon for the New Yorker, which ran in the 1930s and was very popular. He didn't know that it would be adapted for a TV series, three movies and two animated series. His creation was The Addams Family, an eccentric bunch of macabre looking freaks. Despite their appearance, they were a generous, kind family and devoted to each other. They were blissfully unaware that their strange behavior caused terror and bewilderment amongst the neighbors. The ordinary world around them however, seemed bizarre to their freak sensibilities.
The characters are probably best known through the television series of the 1960s, which has been repeated ever since its original run. The producers had the clever idea of presenting them as if they were a family in a typical suburban sitcom, with familiar sitcom storylines. The only difference was that the Addams Family was anything but typical. They lived in a Gothic pile with some very strange artifacts. The head of the household was Gomez Addams, a dapper man with a neat moustache and pinstripe suit. Gomez was independently wealthy, which was fortunate as he failed at his chosen profession of law. His wife Morticia was a stunning vamp of a woman, given to wearing long, black, evening gowns.
The couple had a son, named Pugsley and a daughter named Wednesday. Pugsley looked like a miniature Dracula and Wednesday kept pet spiders. Other eccentric Addams Family relatives were Uncle Fester and Grandmamma. Gomez also had a cousin, called Cousin Itt, who would visit from time to time. He was completely covered in hair. The two servants were strange too and added a lot of humor to the show. Lurch was the loyal, lanky butler, who had superhuman strength and gave surprisingly good recitals on the harpsichord. The other servant, known affectionately as Thing, performed menial tasks around the house. Thing was in fact, a disembodied hand.
The TV show was successfully turned into a movie, with two sequels that weren't as good as the first one. The new actors kept the spirit of the original characters and a younger generation was turned onto the Addams Family. There was a nice message attached to the lighthearted, ghoulish stories. The characters reinforced the idea that it's ok to be different and you shouldn't judge by appearances. In their strange, weird way, they had family values. They also lived in a really cool house.