circa 1964:  Group portrait of the cast of the television series, 'The Addams Family,' in costume. Standing (L-R): Jackie Coogan (1914 - 1984), John Astin, Blossom Rock, and Ted Cassidy. Sitting (L-R): Lisa Loring, Carolyn Jones, and Ken Weatherwax.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
The Addams Family Timeline Explained
Original Comic Strips
Given the long history of “The Addams Family” on the big and small screen, it might surprise you that their first appearance was on the page in 1938. The prolific cartoonist Charles Addams began the Addams Family as a satire of the traditional nuclear family with a series of cartoon strips in 1938 and the 1959 collection, “Dear Dead Days.”
Small Screen Debut
Shortly after “Dear Dead Days” the Addams made the jump to the small screen with 1964’s “The Addams Family.” Despite retaining the grim humor and spirit of the original comic strips, Charles Addams was less than enthusiastic and described its characters as “’half as evil’” as his originals, yet the series brought his creation to a broader audience.
Addams Family Craze
In fact, the series was so popular that the Addams’ monosyllabic butler, Lurch, spawned a dance craze called “The Lurch” and a song of the same name by Grammy Award-winning record producer Gary Paxton. After the end of the series, the Addams came back for an appearance on a popular episode of “The New Scooby-Doo Movies.”
Animated Series
Inspired by the popularity of their “Scooby-Doo” appearance, the Addams Family was brought back in animated form in 1973, but, since the show was too similar to “Scooby-Doo, it only ran for one season. However, the family was soon back with the 1977 live-action Halloween special featuring the original cast for a charming, if overly complex, film.
Big Screen Debut
It wasn’t until 1991 when the Addams Family hit their groove again with Barry Sonnenfeld’s film “The Addams Family”, featuring a star-studded cast with the likes of Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, and Christina Ricci. The film was a box office hit that brought the bizarre family to a new generation, but it was not the last Addams family installment by a long shot.