Short documentary about cartoonist Charles Addams

This 12-minute documentary about Charles Addams reveals that he had a lifelong fascination with decrepit mansions and cemeteries. Who knew! (Via Jim Gurney)


  1.  No comments? Perhaps a little dated.
    My parents subscribed to the New Yorker and I would always rifle through it to see the cartoons, especially Charles Addams.

  2. Just a little dated. My grandfather collected all his books. After his death, they wound up in my basement. Just the thing for a ten year old boy!

    1. I ended up with books of Chas Addams as a kid too, and I think it profoundly turned my sense of humor toward the dark. I am forever grateful to him for it!

      Some of my favorites were sight gags without captions. The neighbors mowing their lawn as Fester sharpened the spikes on the fence, or Pugsley in his room with the walls covered with warning signs- “Bridge Out”, “Thin Ice”, etc.

  3. Somewhere on the Internets there’s an essay about how the economic Panic of 1893 created a lot of big vacant homes which were the neighborhood creepy decrepit houses when Walt Disney and Charles Addams were kids, which are the archetype haunted houses of all American popular post-WWII culture.

    But Google isn’t finding it for me now.

    Anybody? Anybody?

  4. John Astin has often said that he thinks one of the reasons, among many, that the television show was such a hit, and has lasted for so long in reruns, is that it was based around a family that loved each other, yes, but did so with such tremendous gusto. They were absolutely passionate for one another. Passion that might not have passed Standards & Practices muster had it been shown by a “normal” family. But that they, in spite of their outward appearances, were as normal and functional as could be. Audiences longed for that functionality, he says, and for that passion. The physical dynamic of the original Addams Family certainly has something to do with its popularity, as well as (let’s be honest) Vic Mizzy’s infinitely memorable score; but they all stemmed from that remarkable source…

    Charles Addams was able to capture so much in a single panel. Single panels! Each one with a wink, a secret, some delicious twist. A decidedly Addams something that fans of his recognize throughout the vast library of his work and that casual readers could scarcely forget when it snuck upon their page. 

    What a tremendous talent.

    1. That’s funny. I remember, about five years ago, looking at a publicity photo for the show and thinking pretty much the same thing. They looked weird, but they were incredibly nicer to each other than any family that I knew in real life.

      Also, welcome to Boing Boing!

      1. Precisely!

        Long-time lurker, this guy. (Who doesn’t need wonderful things?) I’m glad that Addams and family brought me into the light.

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