How the story started
I, like many others, grew up with this family whose peculiar characters couldn’t help but bring a smile to your face.
We are used to seeing the Addams family on our TV screens, in films, series and even cartoons.
The origins of the story, however, are quite different. These creepy characters, who have fascinated adults and children alike for years, were initially nothing more than caricatures.
Charles ‘Chas’ Addams was a well-known cartoonist from New Jersey. He had always been a child particularly fascinated by the macabre, as a child he liked to take long walks in the cemetery near his home. And, according to some rumours, he often wondered how he would die.
Charles worked for the New Yorker, he did humorous cartoons and his characters were to become the Addams family. In the beginning there was no family history, many characters didn’t even have a name or their own story.
Addams began to decide all these details when he signed the contract with David Levy, the man who would go on to produce the first Addams TV series.
The quirky characters became one big quirky family and in September 1964 they were introduced to the public, who, needless to say, LOVED them.
Why the Addams have been so successful
The story of this particular family immediately entered audiences of all ages, and if I had to give my own idea as to why, I would say it was the surprise effect.
Television had just been invented, people were still trying to get used to seeing people on small screens, and there were very few of them. Back then, whether in America or elsewhere, there was not the choice of today. You couldn’t switch from one channel to another knowing you had plenty of choice (and there certainly wasn’t Sky).
In short, there were very few channels available and many of those were news or the usual five movies. But one day, completely unexpectedly, something new came along. A black-and-white series showing the opposite of what was normal, something so extravagant that it made you glue yourself to the screen.
Morticia, a loving mother who loves to cut the petals off roses (to enjoy their thorns) and watch the view of her garden made up of gravestones.
Gomez, an elegant husband who likes to whisper sweet words (which would often be insulting to us) while kissing his bride gently.
Pugsley and Wednesday, the obedient children who make their parents proud when they try to kill each other (Morticia even lends them weapons).
And then let’s not forget Uncle Fester, Lurch, the thing and Grandma Addams.
All characters who despite loving to dig up corpses and living in a house that no one dared go near, had hearts of gold. They did not hesitate to show their love for their family or anyone who passed by their garden. The rich family never hesitated to make large donations of money and to help those in need (always in their own way of course).
It is hardly shocking that a public accustomed to the usual everyday stuff would become so attached to something that finally brought new air. And so, the Addams were born.
Movies and series
The family really boomed after their appearance in Scooby-doo. Yes you read that right, all thanks to those damn meddling kids!!!
They appeared briefly in one episode and people simply went crazy, they loved them. They were so successful, that after that another series came out, then a special Halloween movie and another series again. One after another until the ‘New Addams Family’ of ’98, the version many of us grew up with.
After that the dust settled and there was no big news until a month ago, with the release of ‘Wednesday’. It’s actually the first time that we see one of the characters on his own, that we follow him directly without having to split up between several people.
It’s quite a change, there are those who liked it and those who didn’t like the too many differences from the original series. I personally haven’t seen it yet (no real reason just focused on other series) but I really hope that although it doesn’t reach those levels of storytelling, that it at least doesn’t ruin the perfection that previous series have been.
If you want to know which of the films and series you love are based on books,
Is The Addams Family a book?
Quick answer? Yes and no. (yeah no quick answer, you’ll have to sit through the reading).
As I said, the Addams story comes from cartoons, so naturally not from books.
a few years ago a book was published containing all the Charles Addams cartoons in chronological order.
The Addams Family: an Evilution
A gem not to be missed if you want to follow in the footsteps that led to the creation of this extravagant story. See how the characters initially behaved, how they thought and what they did. It is truly priceless for the lovers of this family.
If you liked this article (you do don’t lie) sign up to my newsletter and FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST to stay up-to-date.