Addams Family History

An in-depth look into the history of these iconic characters.

OG Addams family drawn by Charles Addams

OG Addams family drawn by Charles Addams

Hope Whitley

With “Wednesday” premiering on Netflix this past thanksgiving, a lot of people are being introduced to the Addams clan for the first time. What some might not know is that the Addams family is part of a rich history and has been around for nearly 100 years. It all started in 1938 when Charles Addams published the first one panel Addams family cartoon in the New Yorker. That one panel soon evolved and  continued to be published in the New Yorker until Charles Addams’s death in 1988. 

Whos Who 

Addams Family mansion from 1960s show

The famous Addams family mansion was inspired by Charles Addams’s home town of Westfield, New Jersey, an area full of elaborate Victorian mansions and  anachronistic graveyards. None of the main characters had names until the production of the 1960s television show. The father was given two name choices Repelli and Gomez  production choose Gomez, Morticia, his wife’s name is a play on the word ‘mortician’, Wednesday came from a nursery rhyme, “Wednesday’s child is full of woe.” Charles wanted Pugsley to be Pubert but production didn’t like that name. In ‘Addams Family Values’ released in 1993,Morticia and Gomez name their new baby Pubert in honor of the creator. Many things are changed in the different adaptations, for example “Thing” who in all the adaptations is simply a hand was originally an invisible man in the comics where all you could SEE was his hand.  In some adaptations Uncle Fester is Morticia’s uncle in others he is Gomez’s older brother. Grandmama is Gomez’s mother in the show from the 1960s, but in every other rendition of the story she is Morticia’s mother. Cousin IT is the only character not created by Charles. 

Many, Many adaptations! 

The Addams family have not rested since the 30s! The 1960s TV show ran on abc for 2 seasons. It was a little calmer than the comics and was more fun and comedic. Even when the show was canceled people were still talking about the Addams family. The “Lurch” dance- named after the family’s zombie like butler-  was very popular and the show was constantly re-run. The original cast from the 60s returned for a Halloween special in 1977. 

Addams Family GIF by Artedelsueno - Find & Share on GIPHY

1990s cast IMDb

Two separate animated shows aired “The Addams Family” (1973-1974) And “The Addams Family”(1992-1993) Perhaps the most  recognizable Addams Family cast comes from filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld who directed two movies premiering in 1991 and 1993, “The Addams Family” and “The Addams Family Values.” Both films were received well by audiences and critically acclaimed.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday 2022 IMDb

Another film was produced by SABAN entertainment, “Addams Family reunion” in 1998 though that one isn’t as popular. Two animated movies made in 2019 and 2021 “The Addams Family” and “The Addams Family 2.” Last but not least, the 2022 Netflix series “Wednesday.” Wednesday is much different than the rest as it solely follows Wednesday and her life at a boarding school for outcasts. As the title suggests Wednesday is the main character and we don’t see much of the rest of the Addamses. In this adaptation Wednesday is the older of the two children, which is something that differs from film to film.

 Although created to contrast the “normal” American family, the Addams family  are communicative, loving, supportive and that element of the family is prominent in every adaptation.