Geek Trivia

The Addams Family Franchise Started Off As A?

TV Show
Short Story
Comic Book
New Yorker Cartoon
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Answer: New Yorker Cartoon

Today it seems like there’s an Addams Family adaptation for everything: there have been TV shows, movies, cartoons, video games, a best-selling pinball game, books, and even a Broadway play. What many people are unaware of, however, is that the Addams Family franchise got its start as a single-panel cartoon in The New Yorker.

Drawn by cartoonist Charles Addams, the cartoon first appeared in 1938 and documented the macabre-loving and bizarre Addams clan. The cartoons hinged on layering the familiarity of strong family ties and domestic life over the odd and often violent, bordering on sociopathic, behavior of the family.

In the early years of the comic, the characters were nameless, presented simply as an eccentric family composed of a mother, father, son, daughter, grandmother, an oddball uncle, a hairy cousin, a towering man servant, and a disembodied hand. It wasn’t until the cartoon was adapted for television in 1964 that the family was given their now familiar names, cementing Morticia, Gomez, Pugsley, Wednesday, and friends into popular culture.

Image courtesy of The New Yorker.