|Addams Family character|
Ken Weatherwax as Pugsley in The Addams Family television series.
|First appearance||The New Yorker cartoon, (1938)|
|Created by||Charles Addams|
|Portrayed by||Ken Weatherwax (1964 series)
Jimmy Workman (1991 & 1993 films)
Jerry Messing (1998 film)
Brody Smith (1998 series)
Danny Herz (2016 Los Gatos Youth Theater Production)
Fester (great-uncle, but uncle in the films)
Pugsley is depicted as a devious young genius in Charles Addams's original cartoons. He is often shown releasing sailboats in the park with other children, except his boats were more macabre in nature.
Pugsley is the oldest child of Morticia and Gomez Addams. He is a pre-teen boy (His age is given as eight years old in the pilot episode but is changed to ten years old in the second episode.) who is almost always seen wearing a striped T-shirt and shorts. Originally unnamed (as were all of the family members), the character who was apparently the prototype for Pugsley first appeared in the Charles Addams cartoons in The New Yorker during the 1930s. In this first incarnation, he was portrayed as a deviant child with a vicious nature, shown committing deplorable acts with his sister. In all incarnations, he is overweight. In the television series, Pugsley usually eats over five pieces of cake at birthday parties.
An energetic monster of a boy…blond red hair, popped blue eyes and a dedicated troublemaker, in other words the kid next door…genius in his own way, he makes toy guillotines, full size racks, threatens to poison his sister, can turn himself into a Mr. Hyde with an ordinary chemical set…his voice is hoarse…is sometimes allowed an occasional cigar.
When the characters were given names for the television series, The Addams Family he was originally going to be called "Pubert" (a derivation of the word puberty, possibly a reflection of his age) but it was rejected as it sounded too sexual, and the name Pugsley was chosen instead. (The name Pubert was later used when Gomez and Morticia have a third child in the film Addams Family Values.) The Lurch Files' Addams Family Tree lists Pugsley's middle name as Pubert, probably as an homage to Charles Addams' original suggestion.
In the American television series, Pugsley is played by child actor Ken Weatherwax. This incarnation of the character is more jovial and inventive; he displays outlandish engineering skills, including the invention of a disintegrator gun, an anti-gravity gun, and other devices. He and Gomez created a computer named Whizzo and a robot named Smiley (played by Robby the Robot). Pugsley and his younger sister Wednesday often play together, rarely exhibiting signs of sibling rivalry; they share an interest in spiders, dynamite, guillotines, and other dangerous "toys."
In an early episode, "Morticia and the Psychiatrist", the rest of the family is concerned that Pugsley is engaging in behavior they consider "odd": wearing a Boy Scout uniform, playing with a puppy, etc. When sent to a psychiatrist, Pugsley tells of boyhood incidents involving hangings, machine guns, and grenades, with no clue that others might find these accounts unusual.
In most incarnations of the character, Pugsley had an unusual hobby of stealing road signs, which he used to adorn the walls and door of his bedroom. This may have evolved from an original Addams cartoon in which, rather than road signs, he would steal and decorate his room with cautionary signs, such as high voltage and shallow water signs, thus leading others into danger. He also has a pet octopus named Aristotle.
In the 1970s, there was an animated series about the family, in which Pugsley was voiced by actress Jodie Foster. Foster voiced that same character in an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In the second animated series, Pugsley was voiced by Jeannie Elias.
In the 1977 TV movie, Ken Weatherwax played a grown-up Pugsley, who has become a witch-doctor. In the interval between the original TV series and this movie his parents have had two more children, who look just like the original Pugsley and Wednesday. He is known as Pericles Addams in Spanish-speaking countries and in Brazil (Portuguese) as "Feioso" (Ugly).
The 1998 series The New Addams Family features Pugsley played by Vancouver native Brody Smith. He is essentially the same as the original 1960s incarnation; however the influence of director John Bell's namesake Charlie 'Edge' Bell is undeniable. Also, he is portrayed as the younger sibling, as opposed to Wednesday.
In the film The Addams Family and its sequel, Addams Family Values, Pugsley is played by Jimmy Workman. He acts as an unwitting accomplice to his sister Wednesday, who makes attempts to inflict lethal harm upon him - although he has returned the favour on occasion.
In The Addams Family, Pugsley and Wednesday open a lemonade stand, but their drinks are toxic, and cause Lurch to spit flames when he tries it.
In Addams Family Values, Wednesday and Pugsley are sent to Camp Chippewa, a summer camp, where they are forced to participate in a Thanksgiving-themed play entitled A Turkey Called Brotherhood. Pugsley is cast as a dancing turkey, and leads the children in a chorus of "Eat Us"; He is later seen assisting Wednesday in overthrowing the camp counselors and setting fire to the grounds.
In the film, Addams Family Reunion, Pugsley (now played by Jerry Messing) behaves (for the most part) similarly to his previous two film incarnations. At the Addams Family's family reunion he falls for a young girl named Gina (played by Haylie Duff).
In the Broadway musical The Addams Family, Pugsley is played by Adam Riegler as the younger sibling, around eleven years old, seven years younger than 18-year-old Wednesday (played by Krysta Rodriguez).
In the national tour (2011-2012), Pugsley was played by Patrick D. Kennedy (u.s. Jason Testa). Ethan Wexler replaced Jason Testa in March 2012.