Actor John Astin set the bar high when it comes to playing the witty, loving patriarch of the Addams family, but it almost wasn’t to be. When he walked into his audition, he was there to try out for the part of Lurch. Instead, he found himself in the role of Gomez.
However, he readily states that it all worked out for the best. Astin said that he shared a lot of personality traits with Gomez and that the character seems more like an extension of his personality than any other role he had taken in his career. It was less acting and more exaggeration.
Shaking Up the TV Scene
The original television show had a lot of fun stuff to offer us, but one thing we take for granted nowadays is the relationship between Morticia and Gomez. It was the first sitcom that had the mom and dad being passionate with each other, while other shows of the time stayed away from any talk about what many would call marital duties.
Gomez flattered Morticia constantly, layering on physical affection – his most famous act is probably his tactic of kissing his way up Morticia's arm. Morticia tries to keep a straight face, but it's clear she adores her husband and loves his affection. That's goals, people.
An Addition to His Jacket Pockets
During the television show in the sixties, Gomez Addams, played by John Astin, was a smoker and lover of cigars, just like Astin himself. While showing a loving father smoking on a television set isn't something we see much of these days, there's a little more.
Astin would stash the cigars – sometimes while still lit – inside his coat pockets during a scene or between shots. We hope we don't have to point out the problem with this. In order to keep him from burning himself, the prop department lined all his coats with...asbestos. There's another thing that we don't see all that often anymore, and for good reason.
Making Himself Into a Monster
Christopher Lloyd, famous for playing Doc Brown in the “Back to the Future” films, had to make a few changes to look like the character he played in the “Addams Family” movies, Fester. First off, since Fester is bald, he had to shave his head.
He's gone through some natural hair loss by now, but it meant a lot more back then. Additionally, Lloyd had to crouch down to appear shorter than he was. Lloyd stands at six feet, one inch, but Fester is presented as much smaller. This change also allowed Lloyd to give Fester his characteristic unsteady hobble as he walked around.
Famous for an Unexpected Reason
You wouldn't expect the Addams Family to be such a big part of pinball history, but the game that came out in 1992 following the first 20th Century Fox movie has proved to be the best-selling pinball machine of all time. It's such an odd choice, but it kind of makes sense.
It had the same kind of strange, kooky appeal as the movie, with lots of fun features that even expert pinball players weren't expecting. This included things like a mechanical hand that picks up balls and new dialogue from the actors in the film. It's sold over twenty thousand units, which might not seem like a lot, but remember: pinball games.