Cousin Itt

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Cousin Itt
The Addams Family character
Cousin Itt.png
Cousin Itt as seen in The Addams Family.
First appearance"Cousin Itt Visits the Addams Family" (1965)[1]
Created byDavid Levy
Charles Addams
Portrayed byFelix Silla (1964–1966, 1977)
Roger Arroyo (1965, 1966)
John Franklin (1991–1993)
David Mylrea (1998–1999)
Phil Fondacaro (1998)
Voiced byTony Magro (1964–1966)
John Stephenson (1972–1973)
Pat Fraley (1992–1993)
Paul Dobson (1998–1999)
Snoop Dogg (2019, 2021)

Cousin Itt is a fictional character in the Addams Family television and film series. He was developed specifically for the 1964 television series and is a regular supporting character in subsequent motion-picture, television and stage adaptations.

Character background[edit]

Cousin Itt is a diminutive, hirsute being, his visible form composed entirely of floor-length blonde hair. He has an IQ of 320, is often attired in bowler hat and round sunglasses, and speaks in a high-pitched gibberish that is understood only by his family.[2] As he was created specifically for the television series,[3] illustrations of the character by cartoonist Charles Addams followed the show's debut, first in a single-panel sketch showing Itt on the telephone ("This is It speaking"),[citation needed] and later in family-portrait artwork.[4][5] He drives a Messerschmitt Kabinenroller.

Appearances[edit]

Television[edit]

Cousin Itt is introduced in the television series as the cousin of family patriarch Gomez Addams. He is an occasional guest in the Addams home, entering and exiting through the chimney, though he also has his own quarters which are furnished in proportion to his size. He vainly attempts a multitude of professions such as an actor,[6] a singer, a marriage counselor,[7] and a zoo curator,[1] while his physical appearance is the subject of one episode in which he begins to lose his hair.[8]

Cousin Itt appeared in 19 total episodes of the original series and was played by Felix Silla, except for two appearances in which he was played by Roger Arroyo. Silla attended a casting call in Los Angeles and was given the role on the spot without having to audition.[3] The character's heavy costume was first constructed with real hair but later changed to a fire-retardant synthetic, as smoking was common on-set and the real hair was therefore a fire hazard.[3] Silla's instructions were simply to walk around on the set, as Itt's voice (provided by sound engineer Tony Magro)[9] was dubbed in post-production, but he often had difficulty seeing through the costume.[10]

The character appears with the other family members in a September 23, 1972 crossover episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, titled "Wednesday Is Missing".[11] His vocal effects were provided by John Stephenson, who returned to the role in the 1973 Hanna-Barbera animated series.

In the 1992 animated series, Itt (voiced by Pat Fraley) is depicted as a carefree bachelor who is often seen in the company of female companions. He is also a secret agent that is often targeted by the Spy Twins.

Cousin Itt appears in The New Addams Family performed by David Mylrea while his vocal effects are provided by Paul Dobson.

Film[edit]

In the 1991 feature film The Addams Family, Cousin Itt (spelled "It", and performed and voiced by John Franklin)[10] has a minor role in which he becomes infatuated with Margaret Alford (Dana Ivey), the mistreated wife of the Addams' crooked lawyer Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya), when he meets her at a party and asks her to dance. At the end of the film, Margaret has married Cousin Itt some time after Tully and the film's main antagonist Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson) are defeated and buried alive.[12]

Cousin Itt appears in Addams Family Values performed again by Franklin. He and Margaret are shown to still be together and are the parents of a miniature version of Itt named "What".[13]

In the 1998 direct-to-video film Addams Family Reunion, Itt (performed by Phil Fondacaro) is pursued by a mutant dog invented by Uncle Fester that feeds on human hair.

Cousin Itt appears in the 2019 animated film (also spelled "It") where he is voiced by Snoop Dogg. He is portrayed as being smaller in this incarnation than in any other, being shorter than Pugsley. Here, Itt also has visibly solid arms not made of hair unlike like in previous incarnations and legs under his hair. He is also notably depicted as a playboy, making him one of the few members of the family to have been truly accepted by society.

Cousin Itt appears in The Addams Family 2 voiced again by Snoop Dogg. While on their cross-country road trip, the Addams Family meets up with Cousin Itt in Miami as he arrives on a jet ski. As Cousin Itt travels with the family, he had to leave them earlier to help Grandmama when her house party at the Addams Family house gets out of control. By the time the Addams Family returns home, Cousin Itt and Grandmama have dispersed the party and have gotten the house cleaned up before their arrival.

Relationships[edit]

Family tree[edit]

Addams family tree
Grandmama[i][n 1]
Debbie Jellinsky[n 2]Uncle Fester[i]Cousin Itt[i]Margaret Alford[n 2]Tully Alford
Mal Beineke[n 3]Alice Beineke[n 3]Gomez AddamsMorticia Addams
(née Frump)
[i][ii]
Rupert Styx[n 4]
Lucas Beineke[iii]Wednesday Addams[i][iv][v]Pugsley Addams[i]Pubert Addams[vi][n 2]
Wednesday Addams Jr.[n 5]Pugsley Addams Jr.[n 5]
Notes:
  1. ^ a b c d e f "Altogether Ooky: The Addams Family Tree". Family Tree Magazine. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  2. ^ "Morticia Addams: A Witch Icon Worthy Of All The Praise". SyFy Wire. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of The Addams Family on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  4. ^ "Here's how Wednesday Addams got her name". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Many Shades of Wednesday Addams". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "11 things you never knew about Addams Family Values". Digital Spy. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  1. ^ In the Broadway musical The Addams Family, Morticia refers to Grandmama as Gomez and Uncle Fester's mother,
    to which Gomez reacts with surprise and says that he had thought she was Morticia's mother. Morticia later says that
    Grandmama "may not even be part of this family", referencing Grandmama's ever-changing relation to the family.
  2. ^ a b c Established in the 1993 film Addams Family Values.
  3. ^ a b Established in the Broadway musical The Addams Family.
  4. ^ Established in the 1964 episode "Halloween with the Addams Family".
  5. ^ a b Established in the 1977 film Halloween with the New Addams Family.

Legacy[edit]

Two plant species native to eastern Australia, Casuarina glauca and Acacia cognata, have both had cultivar developed called "Cousin Itt" due to their short size and shaggy appearance.[2][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wilson, Tony; Sharp, Henry (writers) (February 5, 1965). "Cousin Itt Visits the Addams Family". The Addams Family (Television episode). Season 01. Episode 20. ABC.
  2. ^ a b Siskin, Joshua (August 28, 2017). "Gardening: 'Cousin Itt' is where it's at for water thrifty gardeners". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Glionna, John M. (November 2, 2014). "Felix Silla, a.k.a. Cousin Itt, looks back on a kooky career". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  4. ^ Addams, Charles (1991). The World of Charles Addams. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0394588223. (book cover)
  5. ^ "The Bruce Museum to Host Original Cartoon Artworks of Charles Addams". Art Knowledge News. Archived from the original on January 22, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  6. ^ Leslie, Phil (writer) (September 17, 1965). "My Fair Cousin Itt". The Addams Family (Television episode). Season 02. Episode 01. ABC.
  7. ^ Winkler, Harry; Coons, Hannibal (writers) (May 7, 1965). "Cousin Itt and the Vocational Counselor". The Addams Family (Television episode). Season 01. Episode 32. ABC.
  8. ^ Henning, Carol; Ring, Ed; Persons, Mitch (story), Leslie, Phil (teleplay) (April 30, 1965). "Cousin Itt's Problem". The Addams Family (Television episode). Season 02. Episode 06. ABC.
  9. ^ Lentz III, Harris M. (2005). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2004. McFarland & Company. p. 220. ISBN 0786421037.
  10. ^ a b Cox, Stephen (1998). The Addams Chronicles: An Altogether Ooky Look at the Addams Family. Cumberland House Publishing (2nd Edition). ISBN 1888952911.
  11. ^ William Hanna, Joseph Barbera (directors); Jameson Brewer, Ruth Brooks Flippen, et al. (writers) (September 23, 1972). "Wednesday is Missing". The New Scooby-Doo Movies (Television episode). Season 01. Episode 03. ABC.
  12. ^ Sonnenfeld, Barry (director) (1991). The Addams Family (Motion picture).
  13. ^ Sonnenfeld, Barry (director) (1993). Addams Family Values (Motion picture).
  14. ^ Hitchcock, Bobbie (2005). "Casuarina glauca prostrate forms — including Casuarina 'Cousin It'". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved January 20, 2018.