For a show that ran only two seasons in 1964, The Addams Family has certainly endured the test of time. The classic television comedy about this thoroughly bizarre family still can be seen in reruns and has a considerable fan base.
Here’s what one of its original stars, John Astin, had to say about its staying power through the decades.
John Astin was a big fan of cartoonist Charles Addams
The prolific actor shared with the Archive of American Television in 2015 his great admiration for Charles Addams, the American cartoonist known for his macabre cartoon series, “The Addams Family.” It was Addams’ work that the comedy series was based on.
When the actor was asked to portray Addams family patriarch Gomez Addams, it was an easy yes.
“I was a huge fan of Charles Addams,” Astin said. “In college, my roommate and I would buy an extra copy, if we could put together our funds, of slender volumes of his cartoons. We would frame them and put them up in our room. That was our only wall decoration.”
How John Astin fell into the role of Gomez Addams
At the same time that he had been offered the role on The Addams Family, Astin had also been presented with a few other movie parts. The one that was most ready to start filming was the television series.
Described to Astin by the show’s producers as “Father Knows Best with different people,” the actor was originally asked to play Lurch the butler, but eventually was cast in the role he made famous of Gomez Addams.
“I’m really lucky that’s what I ended up doing,” the actor born in 1930 said. “Many things have happened to me that are good as a result of The Addams Family.
Why the show has loyal fans to this day
In the years after the television series ended, Charles Addams’ work has also been represented in several feature films. The demand is there for the creepy, kooky family and a 2022 film, The Addams Family 2 is in the works.
The original screen Gomez Addams offered his opinion on why the Addams family means so much to its fans.
“The Addams Family is really about the joy of life. It’s about family love and sometimes passion. It has this mask on of horror, but it’s not.”
Astin then summed up what The Addams Family is really all about.
“One thing the show says is that it doesn’t matter what you’re like outside. It’s inside that counts,” he told the Archive of American Television. “It’s why people who are sometimes disowned by society like the show so much. Because real values are there, underneath.
“During the run of the show, psychiatrists wrote articles about the show, how it was the healthiest show on the air. There was an affirmation of life.”