The Addams Family (1973 TV series)

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The Addams Family
The Addams Family (1973 animated series) title card.jpg
GenreAnimated sitcom
Comedy horror
Created byCharles Addams
Developed byDavid Levy
Directed byCharles A. Nichols
Voices ofTed Cassidy
Jackie Coogan
Jodie Foster
Cindy Henderson
John Stephenson
Janet Waldo
Lennie Weinrib
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
ProducerIwao Takamoto
Running time30 min.
Production companyHanna-Barbera
DistributorTaft Broadcasting
Release
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 8 (1973-09-08) –
December 22, 1973 (1973-12-22)
Chronology
Preceded byThe Addams Family
Followed byHalloween with the New Addams Family
Related showsThe New Scooby-Doo Movies

The Addams Family is an American animated sitcom adaptation of the Charles Addams single-panel comic for The New Yorker. The series was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for Saturday mornings in 1973 and was rebroadcast the following season.[1] Jackie Coogan and Ted Cassidy, who played Uncle Fester and Lurch respectively from the 1960s television series, returned in voice-over roles.[2] The cast also included an 11-year-old Jodie Foster, who performed the voice of Pugsley Addams.[3] The show's theme music was completely different and had no lyrics and no finger snapping, although it retained a bit of the four-note score from the live-action show.

Plot[edit]

The Addams Family consists of husband and wife Gomez and Morticia Addams, their children Wednesday and Pugsley, as well as Grandmama, Uncle Fester, Thing, Cousin Itt, and their butler Lurch. The Addamses are a close-knit extended family with decidedly macabre interests and supernatural abilities. No explanation for their powers is explicitly given in the series.

This series depicts the Addamses on a cross-country road trip, exploring the United States in their Victorian-style Creepy Camper that resembles their mansion.[4] Along the way, they stop off at various locations and venues. They inadvertently cause mayhem wherever they go due to their unusual interests and mannerisms, their willingness to trust those who probably shouldn't be trusted, and their getting swept up in criminal schemes or problems without their knowledge.

Voice cast[edit]

Development[edit]

Scooby-Doo appearance[edit]

The Addams Family's first animated appearance was on the third episode of Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family" (a.k.a. "Wednesday is Missing"), which first aired on CBS Saturday morning on September 23, 1972. John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, and Ted Cassidy provided the voices for their respective Addams Family characters while voice actors were used to voice Grandmama, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Cousin Itt. The episode details the Addams Family in a mystery with the Scooby-Doo gang. The Addams Family characters were drawn to the specifications of the original Charles Addams comics.

The Addams Family get their own cartoon[edit]

The first animated series ran on Saturday mornings from 1973–1975 on NBC. In a departure from the original series, this series took the Addamses on the road in a Victorian-style Recreational vehicle (RV) that resembles their house. This series followed the relationships of the original Addams comics in that Fester is Gomez's brother, and Grandmama is Morticia's mother. Many cast members from the original series and the Scooby-Doo episode reprise their roles in the series, with the exceptions of Astin and Jones whose characters were voiced by Lennie Weinrib and Janet Waldo. The show also introduces the Addams Family's animal companions Ali the alligator, Ocho the octopus and Mr. B the vulture, who are often seen with their fellow pet Kitty Kat the Lion.

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"The Addams Family in New York"September 8, 1973 (1973-09-08)
The Addams Family are offered a bargain: New York City's Central Park. To help them clean it up, they free animals from the zoo, but the police come and the Addamses are about to be arrested when Gomez produces unexpected proof that he is in fact the rightful owner of Central Park. The park was bequeathed to an ancestor, Van Dyke Addams, and a deed confirms that it is to be passed on to his heirs. But the cops still have a hard time with Gomez's story.
2"Left in the Lurch"September 15, 1973 (1973-09-15)
The Addams Family goes to Nashville in search of dinosaur bones, but find themselves caught up in a rock festival instead. Lurch is anxious about meeting his pen pal. He becomes a lead guitarist and vocalist for the group Freddy and the Frogs.
3"Boola Boola"September 22, 1973 (1973-09-22)
The rare Boola-Boola is said to be found in the Black Lake and the Addams Family have an exciting time when they join in on the search. But they have more to look for than the Boola-Boola when Ocho the octopus is kidnapped.
4"The Fastest Creepy Camper in the West"September 29, 1973 (1973-09-29)
In Indianapolis, petroleum shortage promises to be a thing of the past via Uncle Fester's new invention — "Festerine" — but the Addamses are caught up outwitting Count Evil and the Race Ace. When they succeed at this task, they win a million dollars for Gomez's favorite charity: Vulture Culture at The Ghoul School at Dracula University.
5"The Mardi Gras Story"October 6, 1973 (1973-10-06)
The Addams Family enjoy all the fun and gaiety of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but it is difficult to recognize them in their funny masks. Tensions mount when a couple of crooks masquerade as Fester and Gomez.
6"Follow That Loaf of Bread"October 13, 1973 (1973-10-13)
Thing finds himself in trouble when Morticia is baking Eerie Egg Bread and he falls into the mixture. The loaves of bread win the national bake-off contest in Chicago before the Addamses figure out what is going on. Then, they embark on a desperate search for the loaf of bread containing Thing.
7"Aloha, Hoolamagoola"October 20, 1973 (1973-10-20)
The Addams Family experience an exciting Hawaiian adventure in which they are mistaken for a Stone Age tribe: the lost Hoolamagoola. Also, Ocho the octopus discovers an underwater cave.
8"The Reluctant Astronauts' Trip to the Moon"October 27, 1973 (1973-10-27)
The Addams Family arrives at Cape Kennedy and receive a trip to the moon from two crooks. Preparations arise for a visit to inspect their new possession, and their rocket blasts off with a little help from Uncle Fester. Then comes the problem of trying to find a place to land.
9"The Great Balloon Race"November 3, 1973 (1973-11-03)
A balloon race is attracting a lot of attention, but Professor Orville Byrd's balloon is sabotaged during its entire route from New York City to Los Angeles by the Nasty Brothers. The Addams Family decide to lend a helping hand to the imperiled professor.
10"Ghost Town"November 10, 1973 (1973-11-10)
Spooks are scaring everyone away from the Old Prospector's land and they try to scare off the Addams Family as well when they arrive, to no avail. The spooks manage to scare Wednesday and Pugsley but the Addamses' pets manage to scare the spooks.
11"The Circus Story"November 17, 1973 (1973-11-17)
The Addams Family visit a circus which they discover is "The Worst Show On Earth". They decide to help when Honest John tells them of its troubles with a rival circus stealing its workers.
12"The Addams Family at Sea"November 24, 1973 (1973-11-24)
The Addams Family take their first ocean voyage, but the sight of Ali the alligator and Ocho the octopus dancing has every passenger aboard spooked; so much so that they jump overboard. The crooks Lefty and Joe promptly steal all the valuables aboard as a result, but the Addamses are soon in hot pursuit of the thieves as they attempt a getaway in a speedboat.
13"The Voodoo Story"December 1, 1973 (1973-12-01)
Madame Hoodoo finds all her curses and spells fail miserably to frighten the Addams Family and things digress from bad to worse for her when her love potion backfires and Granny puts a blessing on her. She decides to go back to Haiti for advanced voodoo lessons.
14"The Roller Derby Story"December 8, 1973 (1973-12-08)
Wednesday Addams chooses to visit the Roller Derby for her thirteenth birthday celebration, and the Addams Family are soon involved between the bitter rivalry of the Angels and the Demons, resulting in the Addams Family playing for the Angels.
15"The Addams Family Goes West"December 15, 1973 (1973-12-15)
Following the trail of the great pioneers, the Addams Family goes to the wide open spaces of the West and find themselves outsmarting such characters as Wyatt Burp, Silly the Kid, Wild Bill Hiccup and Badmouth Ben.
16"The Addams Family at the Kentucky Derby"December 22, 1973 (1973-12-22)
Pugsley Addams wants a horse for his birthday celebration, so the Addams Family go to Kentucky to buy one. They choose a worn-out old nag named Bones, but Granny's cooking does him so much good that he becomes a fast runner again and is ridden by Pugsley to victory at the Kentucky Derby. So in the end, after sacrificing their good name, the Addamses sadly give Bones back to the Kellys, as he is now a winner, leaving Pugsley disappointed and heartbroken.

Public service announcements[edit]

Concurrently with their series, the animated Addams characters appeared in public service announcements for the Boy Scouts of America (featuring Pugsley as a Scout), the four nutritious food groups then promoted by the USDA, and forest fire prevention for the United States Forest Service.[5]

Broadcast history[edit]

Telecast: NBC Saturday Morning September 8, 1973 – August 30, 1975
Sept. – Dec. 1973, NBC Saturday 9:00–9:30 AM (EDT)
Jan. – Aug. 1974, NBC Saturday 8:30–9:00 AM (EDT)
Sept. 1974 – Aug. 1975, NBC Saturday 8:00–8:30 AM (EDT)

Home media[edit]

On October 19, 2010, Warner Archive released The Addams Family: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.[6] The series is also available for purchase at the iTunes Store.

Comics[edit]

Gold Key Comics published a 3-issue The Addams Family comic book series between October 1974 and April 1975, boasting stories adapted from episodes of the animated series.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 4–6. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981. Scarecrow Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 58–61. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ Sennett, Ted (1989). The Art of Hanna-Barbera: Fifty Years of Creativity. Studio. p. 180. ISBN 978-0670829781. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  5. ^ Rare Addams Family animated 1974 Smokey Bear Commercial, YouTube
  6. ^ "The Addams Family – Warner Formally Announces the Complete Series DVDs for the 1973 Animated Show". Archived from the original on 2010-10-17.

External links[edit]