Growing up in the 90's during Halloween was ... AWESOME! So many of my traditions for Halloween today, go back to what was cool then. It was a time when you could still trick or treat in your own neighborhood. Homemade candy wasn't a scary thing if it was in a neighborhood you knew. Movie nights consisted of Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas to name a few. But my favorite that I could watch any time of year was The Addams Family. Of course, my generation were familiar with the 1991 version that was followed by The Addams Family Values. I, however, watched the 1964 TV show almost every night before I went to bed. So as I have been preparing for the Halloween holiday this year, I of course pulled out my VHS tape of The Addams Family and prepared for an epic movie night full of nostalgia. This got me thinking what came before the TV show? Was it a book? Who came up with this idea of a family that was so scary yet normal in their own way? So I did some digging and thought I would share with you some facts I found interesting!
The Addams Family actually started out as a cartoon in the The New Yorker. American cartoonist, Charles Addams, was the creator of this eccentric family. He created them as an inversion of the ideal American family. They originally appeared as an unrelated group of 150 single-panel cartoons. Only about half were originally published in The New Yorker between 1938 and 1988. They have since been adapted to other media, including the TV show (live and animated), films, video games and a musical. Addams' original cartoons, however, were not given names until the TV series, but well-known characters were often seen in his cartoons: Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wednesday, Pugsley, Cousin Itt and Thing. Charles Addams was first inspired by his hometown of Westfield, New Jersey, which was an area full of "ornate Victorian mansions and archaic graveyards." Charles Addams was approached by a television producer who wanted to create a TV show. All Charles had to do was given names to his characters and characteristics for the actors to use in their portrayals. The TV show first aired in 1964 and lasted two seasons with over 60 episodes. The Addams Family's first appearance in an animated show was on the third episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies that first aired in 1972. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Addams_Family)
A few interesting things about Charles Addams himself:
Charles Addams was born in 1912 and passed away in 1988. He is distantly related to U.S. presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, despite the different spellings of their last names. He married his last and third wife in a pet cemetery.
I've included a few links to other interesting facts and even a quiz on what you know about the 1991 movie!