Back to Articles

The Addams Family tree expanded due to Cousin Itt's popularity

In the first season of The Addams Family, Cousin Itt appears a few times, with Gomez acting as a translator for his high-pitched, indiscernible speaking voice.

This cousin character, with his long hair that covers him from head to toe and his little hat with round sunglasses, became one of the most popular members of the extended Addams Family. By the second season, the family had built him his own room to scale.

From that point on, Cousin Itt was at the Addams manor to stay, becoming a regular cast member whom audiences expected and delighted to see featured more often through the show's second season.

In 1965, Morticia Addams actor Carolyn Jones wrote a guest column for The Morning-Record Journal where she discussed how The Addams Family was expanding in the second season, hinting at cousins to come who were even stranger than Cousin Itt — and perhaps didn't fit in so well in Morticia Addams' elite sphere.

"I'm no snob, mind you, but I do have just enough pride in my personal ancestry to wonder why I'm inheriting such a flock of dingbats as relatives of Morticia Addams," Jones wrote.

"The Addams population explosion also will include such sterling characters as Aunt Trivia, Grandpa Squint, Aunt Bloop, and assorted cousins named Crimp, Rancid, Flub and Cringe," she confirmed. She also teased an "invisible boy" named Woodrow who would become Wednesday's best pal.

Alas, unlike Cousin Itt, most of these characters like Aunt Trivia and Cousin Cringe would remain unseen, merely mentioned in the scripts. (The imprisoned Cousin Cringe eats a hacksaw baked into a cake, we learn.) We do, at least, at last, get a tantalizing glimpse of Cousin Cringe late in season two in "Lurch's Little Helper," when Morticia paints this portrait of her two-headed relative:

For Morticia, who sees herself as more dignified, Jones said this parade of oddballs made her more of a misfit in her own home.

"Morticia is a patrician, prideful creature who, come Fall, will discover her maiden name was Frump and that she has had an unmarried sister named Ophelia, a stringy-haired blonde who wears a garland of buttercups in her hair and spouts Shakespeare while sliding down the banister of Addams manor."

Of course, Jones was cast to also play Morticia's sister Ophelia, and in the column, she gave readers a peek at how this second role would stylistically be "a departure" for her.

"What really horrifies me is that Ophelia breaks tradition by wearing knee-length black dresses," Jones said. "I've taken particular pride in being able to master Morticia's form-fitting, ankle-length gowns."

"Among her other eccentricities is a proficiency in karate and judo, and a facility to talk backwards," Jones said of Ophelia, joking, "It is highly probable that Ophelia's reverse conversation will impel Cousin Itt to articulate in understandable English."

Starting with the second season, the audience required twice as much translation as the garbling Addams Family continued growing, with each "ooky" new addition introducing new quirks. Who's your favorite member of the extended Addams Family?

Contact | About | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Advertise | Distribution | Do Not Sell My Information - CA Residents