Cara Mia, It’s Halloween! Creator Charles Addams

I creep 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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Addams

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

 

102 thoughts on “Cara Mia, It’s Halloween! Creator Charles Addams

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  1. 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!

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  2. 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!

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    1. 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!

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  3. 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!

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  4. 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!

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  5. 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!

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  6. 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!

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  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

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    1. 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!

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  8. 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 🙂

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  9. 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.

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  10. 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!
    Scott

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  11. 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 🙂

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  12. When I was younger, I always thought Gomez was saying “cadida”…really weird name for your sweetie! Then I took Spanish and realized it was probably “QUERIDA” (care-ee-duh), which means “dear” (among others). Much more sense!

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  13. That’s just weird’ but of course in a fun kind of way’, I grew up with the Addams’ Carolyn Jones’ she was awesome’ beautiful and the Mother I never had’ and she had her act down, it was awesome to see her do her tight little floor shuffle in her too tight long black dress with spider tailings. Pruning her dead roses, spoon feeding her carnivorous plant’ her odd children’ nutty uncle fester’ Grand Mama’ Think in the box and cousin it, the shy hair ball of the family.

    Even the same old canned laughs were creepy in a sense. But fun and lots of Arm nibbling romance…

    ‘Danny and you both are the perfect match in that Halloween, and in all other pictures you’ve shared in your Wild Ride living journal of happenings. Did you ever go to You-tube and watch the video ‘The Watusi where she teaches Lurch to dance and to find his Groove? That is still just as hilarious today as it was the first time I saw it.

    ‘The Addams Family TV Debuted in 1964 and the shows ran on until 1966’
    and my favorite TV Addams quote:

    -Morticia Addams: Gomas…

    -Gormas Addams: Querida?

    -Morticia Addams: – Last night, you were unhinged. You were like some desperate howling demon. You frightened me. Do it again…

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    1. Ha! Morticia and I are so much alike. Ha! She’s my twisted sister. I do remember Lurch and his stiff attempt at dancing, but you’ve given me an idea. It would be fun to see the old gang on YouTube!

      Like

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