Why The Addams Family Characters Went Nameless For Three Decades

According to an article in Mental Floss, Charles Addams had a few suggestions for the Addams Family’s first names that the studio shot down. Morticia was settled on right away, but Addams wanted to name the family Patriarch “Repelli Addams,” that is: it sounds like “repellant.” The studio went with “Gomez” instead, which has no pun. Addams also wanted to name the Addams son “Pubert,” which ABC rejected because it sounded a little dirty, that is: like “puberty.” The studio went with “Pugsley.” Not incidentally, the new Addams baby born in the 1993 film “Addams Family Values” was named Pubert. 

The story of Wednesday Addams’ name is a little more involved, and the A.V. Club, back in 2018, unearthed the story. A woman named Joan Blake, the story goes, met Charles Addams when she was depressed at a college party sometime in 1964. Blake and Addams had a lovely conversation wherein he revealed that “The Addams Family” was becoming a sitcom, but that he hadn’t yet invented a name for the daughter. Blake suggested “Wednesday” after a famous folk poem: “Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace. Wednesday’s child is full of woe, Thursday’s child has far to go,” etc. The poem, incidentally, was passed along orally for generations, but it wasn’t first printed until 1838 in the magazine Traditions of Devonshire. 

There are no interesting stories, sadly, behind the names of Granny Frump, Uncle Fester, or Lurch the Butler. According to the Metal Floss article, however, actor John Astin initially auditioned to play Lurch, but was given the role of Gomez instead. Ted Cassidy played Lurch, and it was Cassidy’s improv that led to his common line of dialogue “You raaang?”

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