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The Addams Family (1964)

Show Tidbits
In the original Charles Addams drawings upon which the show was named, none of the characters had names. During the series development, Charles Addams named them and crafted character summaries for each one. Each summary specified the character's general appearence and demeanor.
 
The original name that Charles Addams chose for the male child was 'Pubert.' The network (ABC) nixxed that idea as it was deemed totally unacceptable for early 1960s television. This character became 'Pugsley.'

Pubert was not to be forgotten though. In the Addams family movie, Morticia and Gomez had a third child, a boy born with a dark mustache, whom they named Pubert.
 
The opening credits for the first few episodes were slightly different than for the subsequent episodes.

In the shot following the lion (the family pet called 'Kitty Cat') entering the parlor via the conservatory, the subsequent episodes depicted Gomez and Morticia fencing in the parlor during the lyrics "When people come to see-um, they really are a screee-um..."

In the premier episode opening credits, instead of the fencing duel, there were two shots of Mr. Hilliard (the truancy officer from the Sherwood School, that Pugsley and Wednesday were supposed to be attending) on the Addams' front porch. The first is him walking up the front steps (When people come to see-um) and the second is of him pulling the doorbell to a comically long extent and it yanking him back sharply (they really are a screee-um...) so that he loses his balance.

The opening credits for the second episode depict Dr. Black having a similar encounter with the doorbell. (Dr. Black is the child psychiatrist that Gomez & Morticia engage to treat Pugsley's sudden disinterest in explosives and his pet octopus in lieu of 'abnormal' things like the Boy Scouts, baseball and roller skates, etc.)

Apparently, it was decided that only regular cast members (including THING) should appear in the opening credits, thus Mr. Hilliard's encounter with the Addams' old-fashioned pull-doorbell (which sounded a large, low frequency fog-horn) was replaced.
 
6-year old Lisa Loring (Wednesday) didn't know how to snap her fingers. John Astin (Gomez) taught her how to do so before the famous finger-snapping family portrait was shot for the opening credits.
 
The butler bell in the Addams mansion consisted of a coarse rope fashioned into a noose that sounded an earth shattering gong. Whenever the gong was sounded it seemed to shake the world. This effect was achieved by having several grips pick up and shake the camera that was being used for the shot.

None of the Addams clan ever reacted oddly to the loud gong, while unfortunate visitor's in the household would cringe, hold their ears, or otherwise reactly strongly to the unexpectedly deafening sound of the gong.

There is a noose-shaped pull for the butler bell in every room of the house except for the entryway.
 
From the second episode onward, the opening production credits rolled over a scene of a long shot of the Addams' mansion. The 'mansion' was in fact, a matte trompe l'oeil painting that was crafted on glass. The windows were left clear so that they could either be blacked out with the front of the painting brightly lit to set the scene as during the daytime. For a night time scene setting, the front lighting would be subdued whie the windows were backlight to create the illusion there were lights on in various rooms of the mansion. Storm effects could also be added, such as flashing lights overhead to simulate a thunderstorm, and a spray of water could be descending between the painting the the camera to simulate rain.

A live shot of the 'mansion' was shown in the first episode where Mr. Briggs, the postman, delivered (actually, THING snatched) the mail and Mr. Hilliard, the truant officer, approached the house. The shots of the house in the first episode only showed up to the second floor as the actual house didn't have the spooky looking attic level, turret with the decrepit weather vane, and listing chimney with the canted TV antenna that is depicted in the painting.
 
The polar bear rug in the Addams' parlor is named 'Bruno'. If anyone steps on Bruno, a loud growl/roar is heard. Members of the Addams household are very careful not to step on Bruno as it seems like he's another one of their odd pets. Unsuspecting visitors are not aware of this and reacted accordingly when they step on Bruno and get snarled at.

In the first episode, Bruno was spread on the stairs from the entryway into the parlor. In subsequent episodes Bruno is on the floor in the parlor near the stairs. Bruno was moved to the parlor floor because it was difficult for the household members to avoid stepping on him while he was sprawled out on the stairs. Occasionally he will return to the stairs for a hapless visitor to step on him and be startled by his ferocious snarl.
 
Although THING got billing in the closing credits as "Itself", the hand depicting THING actually belonged to Ted Cassidy, the very tall actor portraying the butler Lurch, because he had such a large hand. When the script called for Lurch and THING to be in the same shot, assistant producer Jack Voglin stepped in to portray THING.
 
The Addams' daughter Wednesday's full name is Wednesday Friday Addams.
 
Pugsley Addams had a pet octopus named Artistotle. Although rarely seen there were many references in dialog to Aristotle's unruly behavior in running amok through the mansion.
 
Morticia's carnivorous plant (an "African Strangler") was named Cleopatra. Cleopatra's favorite food was hamburger. Cleopatra once got indigestion from eating pot roast.
 
The street address of the Addams mansion was 000 Cemetery Road. The specific town or city the Addams Family resided in was never disclosed, although in one episode where Gomez takes Pugsley to his old friend's circus, his friend mentions "going up to Springfield to find some new acts." Given the number of Springfields in the USA (See: The Simpsons) this was deemed sufficiently ambiguous enough to maintain the mystery.
 
Gomez and Morticia were the first married couple on American television where there was a clear implication that they enjoyed a sexual relationship that went beyond mere reproduction.
 
Wednesday Addams had a pet black widow spider named Homer. One of her hobbies was collecting, breeding and raising spiders. Family outings would include "spider hunts" to add to Wednesday's collection.
 
Most of the time, THING was portrayed as a right hand and forearm. Occasionally, depending on the blocking of the shot and/or the placement of props, THING is portrayed as a left hand and forearm.
 
Just as any typical American Family, the Addams Family enjoyed spending quality time together on family outings. However, their outings were anything but typical. They picnicked in the adjacent cemetery, went on spider hunts to augment Wednesday's spider collection, moonbathed (in beach attire and dark glasses) in the dead of night in their front yard during full moons, and campaigned for a local politician on odd issues such as opposition to filling in the local swamps, much to the chagrin of the candidate, Mr. Hilliard.
 
The studio that produced the Addams Family (Filmways) for ABC did not want to incur the expense of hiring singers to render the series theme song for the opening credits. Vic Mizzy, the Addams Family theme composer, stepped in, went to the recording studio, and produced a multiple overdub of his own voice to make the theme sound as though it was being sung by an ensemble.
 

Warning: The Addams Family (1964) guide may contain spoilers
Classification: Scripted
Genre: Comedy
Status: Canceled/Ended
Network: ABC ( USA)
Airs: Fridays at 08:30 pm
Runtime: 30 Minutes
Premiere: September 18, 1964
Ended: September 02, 1966
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