Cara Mia, It’s Halloween!

I get into the Halloween spirit by watching glimpsing at horror and thriller movies on television. While multitasking, I peek through my fingers once in a while to see what mayhem has arisen.

I’ve seen zombies, one of the Scary Movie series onslaught and one scene from Friday the 13th complete with Freddy Kruger. When flipping through the channels the other night, I stumbled upon one of my very favorite Halloween comedies – Addams Family Values.

The lines were poetic, the quips unrelenting, and the cast replete with Angelica Huston, the late Raul Julia, Joan Cusack, Christina Ricci and Christopher Lloyd had me laughing out loud. I have always loved these deathly, creepy, and wonderfully morbid characters.

I turned on the show during this hilarious scene:

Gomez laments about the lack of communication with his brother Fester.

Gomez: I would crawl on my belly through hot coals and broken glass for him.

Morticia: Why wait.

Do you remember our honeymoon?

Gomez: That glorious cruise.

Morticia: No crew.

Gomez: No cares.

Morticia: No survivors.

So do you still desire me after all these years; the old ball and chain?

Gomez: Forever.

Morticia: I’ll get them.

There were two other Addams movies created in the 1990’s; The Addams Family and Addams Family Reunion. All three were based on the cartoons drawn by Charles Samuel Addams. My father who is also an artist introduced me to his work long ago, so I decided to delve into a little research.

Addams was born in 1912 and grew up in Westfield, New Jersey. He was caught breaking into a house much like the one in the Addams Family and a skeleton drawn on the second floor is attributed to him. He was especially fond of visiting cemeteries. Addams wrote The Addams Family series for television in 1964. Along with the aforementioned movies, it inspired two TV cartoons and a Broadway musical.

I guess he was a pretty cool character. His friends called him “Chill.”

One of Addams’ first gigs was touching up photos of corpses in True Detective Magazine. He found the bloody photos more interesting before he worked on them. In the 1930′s he became a cartoonist for the New Yorker, Colliers and TV Guide magazines. Alfred Hitchcock included him in his movie, North by Northwest with the line, “The three of you together. Now that’s a picture only Charles Addams could draw.” They must have been like old grave-digging friends.

He drew over 1300 cartoons in his lifetime and is considered one of the top American cartoonists of the 20th century. Addams published several anthologies of his cartoons as well.

Addams was married three times. Two of his wives resembled his character Morticia. His first wife divorced him because he hated children and wouldn’t adopt. His second was a lawyer and tried to take over his fortune. He divorced her after seeing red flags when she took out a million dollar life insurance policy on him. He married his third wife in a pet cemetery and then moved into their estate fondly called The Swamp.

Which character did Charles Addams relate to the most? Was it the matriarch of the family, Morticia, the beautiful vamp whose penchant for dark humor and snipping rose buds seems to outweigh any concern for her children? Or did he love Gomez best as the cigar-smoking stockbroker father with a love of blowing up model trains. His oily back black hair set off a bloodless face. Was it their relationship that he longed for? When Morticia speaks French, Gomez replies in Italian, “Cara Mia” (my beloved), and kisses her long slender arms.

Was he fascinated by Grandmama, Morticia’s mother, who tries out new experiments in witchcraft? Did he love Uncle Fester who always seems to get into trouble while playing around with electricity? He makes a great light bulb receptacle.

Was his favorite Wednesday, Gomez and Morticia’s brooding daughter, who is fixated with death or her older brother Pugsley? The siblings can usually be found conspiring to “off” someone or each other.

Addams may have found Lurch the butler the most lovable as he towers over everyone. His Frankenstein-esque appearance is reinforced by groans and eye rolls. Thing, the hand, gives new meaning to the words “body language.” Cousin Itt makes occasional appearances. This furry creature has a lot of energy while wearing sunglasses and a top hat. The girls really go for Itt.

My guess is that Addams had several favorites and enjoyed writing about this highly unusual and macabre family.

They always survive the lovely, dark, and disturbing day.

Set inside a haunted house to “die for,” this is a cast of characters no one would like to meet in a dark alley. I have almost died laughing at their droll humor. Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

Charles Addams died in 1988, but his dream of the quirky family lives on. His ashes were buried in his pet cemetery at The Swamp.

We’ll be waiting for you….Happy Halloween!

What is your favorite Addams Family Character?


All cartoons by Charles Addams

Related articles:

World Book Encyclopedia: Cartoonists. I know. I still have a set!


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Filed under Humor, Life

92 responses to “Cara Mia, It’s Halloween!

  1. Pingback: A Wild Year in Pictures | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

  2. These are awesome cartoon drawings. I had no idea that it was based on these drawings, very cool. And I thought Morticia was great. Angelica Houston was pretty funny. But what was even more awesome was that song … ahhhhh very, very, very cool Halloween song. Great costumes. Susie :)

  3. My favorite would depend. On the shows, it would be Morticia, but I always thought she was beautiful. In real life it would be Wednesday (the movie) because her acting career is good and she is an excellent one. No one could ever outdo the BW Gomez!

  4. I’ve seen the old black and white TV show as well as the new movies, but I had no idea they were originally based on comics drawn by a man named Addams. Thanks for the great Halloween-themed trivia.

    And if given the choice, I’m always going to pick something like the Addams Family over a true horror film. I’d never get any sleep if I watched something truly frightening.

  5. Sadly, I lived in a parallel universe that didn’t involve television when the Adamms family were at their height of popularity. I wish I had seen more of them…Delicious wit and style. What a man. Thanks for the background, Susie, and Happy Halloween :)

  6. I have to admit that I’ve never really watched the Addams Family. I may have to check it out thought after this though. What an interesting history! And love the pics. Happy Halloween to you and ‘Gomez.’ :)

    • Thanks Kristy! I will pass it along!
      The Addams Family is the best. The 90′s movies really captured the essence of the characters, but the original TV series is worth a look too! It can be found on YouTube!]
      Thanks Kristy and Happy Halloween!

  7. My wife shows me credit card statement & that puts me in Halloween mode. Diwali (biggest festival celebrated at home) comes around October and so the monthly statement is also a special one of the year.
    I like Morticia but pets are great addition to the family as well

  8. Not sure why this posted me as Anonymous before…

    The Addams Family movies (particularly Addams Family Values) have always been my favorites and a part of my Halloween movie list for years. I loved that you went into Charles Addams’ history. Some very interesting info that I never knew. Thanks for sharing, Susie!

    • Thanks Jessica! That log in happens to me once in a while too!
      I have always loved this creepy family and look forward to dressing up like Morticia every year!
      Thanks for reading!

  9. Anonymous

    The Addams Family movies (particularly Addams Family Values) have always been my favorites and a part of my Halloween movie list for years. I loved that you went into Charles Addams’ history. Some very interesting info that I never knew. Thanks for sharing, Susie!

  10. Russell

    Whatever happened to theme songs? All the 0ld TV shows had great theme songs, especially the Addams family. You knew what was coming on from the other room because of the music. I loved Morticia. She is one HOT mama!

  11. I love those movies too! LOL! Excellent post Susie. You always have me howling with laughter. Happy Halloween!

  12. I was a kid when The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values came out, and they showed reruns of the TV show when I was a kid too, so I grew up with them. Always loved Wednesday – especially when she was played by Christina Ricci.
    Who then went on to do the Casper movie, and then Now & Then, with Devon Sawa – who was considered the finest thing on the big screen at that time by me and my friends… oh to be 12 again… :)
    Anyway, I digress. Happy Halloween!

  13. I was terrified to open your post.. I thought you’d scare me again, lol! I loved that show! I think it was because I longed to be Morticia.. of course, she’s the exact opposite of me.. tall, thin, long black hair, so that must be why!

  14. In rural Canada, we didn’t get the Addams family on the three channels we had. We did, however, get the Munsters. Which I adored.

  15. Wonderful, always loved the addams family as a kid, and also their movies and cartoons…great costumes Susie, you guys would win first place at any holloween party!!!!

  16. lynnkelleyauthor

    What a fun post, Susie! The Addams Family TV show was one of my favorites when I was a kid. I never saw the movies and didn’t know it started out as a cartoon! This is all so interesting. What a character Charles Addams was. My favorite character was Uncle Fester, but Itt was pretty funny, too! Happy Halloween!

    • Happy Halloween to you too Lynn! I bet you will be dressing up in your Funny Bones costume!
      I was so surprised to learn all of that about him. He lived a very interesting life and also hung out with a lot of movie stars! I bet he would have had an amazing blog! Hahaha!

  17. I always liked …,thing, (*_*)

  18. You will always be my Morticia… and it looks like her Gomez got a job with the Salvation Army for Christmas! I hope the little white ghost doesn’t scare too many trick or treaters away.

    My Favorite Addams… Christina Ricci of course!

  19. I never watch creepy or scary but The Addams Family was just too funny to qualify for either of those categories. Cousin Itt gets my vote too, with Lurch a close second. Happy Hallowe’en!

  20. love them, I like Morticia. :-)

  21. Love this post, Susie! You can’t go wrong with the Addams Family!
    Fascinating facts and brilliant cartoons! Happy Halloween! :D

  22. Gomez and Morticia have a wonderfully sick relationship; you gotta love it!

  23. Great Post – love your costumes too! I love Cousin It – ha! Happy Monday:)

  24. I think I have all his cartoons on a disc somewhere.
    He had a delightful way of twisting the Norman Rockwell family into something delightful.

    Great post, and Happy Halloween!

    • So true! Great comparison! I bet that entered into his mind while drawing this macabre family. Wouldn’t that make an awesome picture? The Rockwells meet the Addamses!
      Thanks so much and Happy Halloween to you! Stay safe and away from the storm Guapo!

  25. t.i.n.a.

    The comics were always fun, too! Great post! Wednesday’s my fave…I want to be that creepy when I “grow up”. :D

  26. Liked the whole family, though the movies made a strong case for Morticia.

  27. Susie– I really needed to read something fun and delightful. You always fill the bill woman. Thanks!

  28. Check you out. You guys look great!

    I love the Addams family. One of our jokes is that our daughter is Wednesday, and her cousin with the long hair in his face is Cousin It. The humor in those movies has just the right twist to it. As always, such a fun post!

  29. I think the first and 2nd film really captured the true essence of the characters because they could go there. The dialogue never fails to crack me up, check out my post

  30. Haha! LOVE the photo – you look terribly healthy for a vampire. Great post, I adored the Addams Family. Must check it out again.

  31. I saw this picture yesterday and the blog is just great to make the 360. Well done my friend.. HUGGGGGGGGGg

  32. I loved Morticia. So elegantly creepy!

  33. Cousin It. I mean, seriously? What curly haired brunette wouldn’t die for those golden locks? ;-) Great piece!

  34. My hands down favorite dialogue from the movie…
    Gomez: How long has it been since we waltzed?
    Morticia: Oh, Gomez…hours.

    Makes me laugh, every time. Have you seen the new show Mockingbird Lane based on The Munsters? Gotta say, it was a bit creepy too…good Halloween fodder, for sure.

    • No I haven’t but will definitely check it out! I didn’t know that the Munsters and the Addams Family both aired at the same time and ran for two years.
      Hours. Love it!
      Thanks Katie!

  35. Coleen Patrick

    I loved the Addams Family!! I think Cousin It was one of my faves. :) Happy Halloween Susie!

  36. I’ve only seen a handful of those, I think I’d be more into them now actually. That example is really funny and you look awesome!

  37. I’ve not seen the TV shows before but I did see the movies and was also flipping channels and stopped on one the other day. But, I’m not sure which character I like best, it’s hard to choose.

  38. I so need to watch the Addams Family again! I loved the wacky pets, Cousin It had a special charm about him. ;) Speaking of charm, you two look FABULOUS in your costumes!

    • Thanks! I was thinking we would do something different, but our house begs for the Addams Family.
      Itt is the best with his squiggly voice that everyone understands! (I can’t believe that squiggly is a real word!)
      Thanks August!

  39. Addam’s Family Values is one of those sequels that’s superior to the original, I think. Just so funny.

    It’s hard to pick a favorite. I loved loved loved the TV show when I was a kid (what does that tell you about me?). It’s hard not to love uncle Fester, though.

    • The comedy remains timeless. It was my favorite as a kid too! I imagine that Addams was a hoot to hang out with. He must have had a great sense of humor!
      Love Fester. At the end of the movie he introduces himself to a new young woman and says, “I’m Fester, as in ‘to rot.’” :)
      Thanks Byronic Man!

  40. Last night we watched Chinatown, with Jack Nicholson and Faye Duniway — Film Noire being the closest to horror films I can tolerate. (It’s just as good 28 years later!). Great Morticia costume Susie. I didn’t know she was part octopus! Happy Halloween. Many Snickers to you.

  41. I can’t read this properly because I am about to go to bed and I do not want another nightmare! I will revisit in the light of morning Susie!

  42. What a fun post! Enjoyed reading about the family. Never missed an episode either. Love the pic of you three, Roxy’ eyes all aglow. :)

  43. Lol! Roxy in a bow tie. How cuuuute! Y’all look great! I loved The Addams Family. I always liked Wednesday the best. :-)

  44. I am a horror movie addict..have seen all of them..addams family seriez has been one of my favourites..dark creepy fun…. One of the finest comedy series
    Married in pet hey there is a movie pet cemetery and i have seen it too..

  45. I never saw the TV show and am only familiar with the Addams Family through the movies. Maybe my kids would enjoy the movies this year.

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