Dear Readers: Silvio Canto, Jr. and I wanted to invite everyone to join us for the 3rd annual Valentine’s Day Show on Canto Talk (click HERE 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST for the live show or later for the archived podcast).
The featured topic will be famous Television and Movie couples. After all the chaos and tragedy, I thought we needed a break from heavy history. We are also inviting listeners to call in with their favorites: 646-478-4933.
My #1 Favorite TV Couple: Morticia and Gomez from “The Addams Family”.
The Addams Family is a group of fictional characters created by American cartoonist Charles Addams. The Addams Family characters include Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wednesday, Pugsley, Pubert Addams, and Thing.
The Addams are a satirical inversion of the ideal American family; an eccentric, wealthy clan who delight in the macabre and are unaware, or do not care, that other people find them bizarre or frightening. They originally appeared as an unrelated group of 150 single panel cartoons, about half of which were originally published in The New Yorker between their debut in 1938 and Addams’s 1988 death. They have since been adapted to other media, including television series (both live and animated), films, video games and a musical.
The TV show ran 2 years. The tangos and mushy French-accented passion were hilarious to me as a pre-teen, when I watched the episodes in syndication.
The very wealthy, endlessly enthusiastic Gomez Addams (John Astin) is madly in love with his refined wife, Morticia (née Frump) (Carolyn Jones). Along with their daughter Wednesday (Lisa Loring), their son Pugsley (Ken Weatherwax), Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan), and Grandmama (Blossom Rock), they reside at 0001 Cemetery Lane in an ornate, gloomy, Second Empire-style mansion, attended by their servants: Lurch (Ted Cassidy), the towering butler, and Thing (billed as “itself”, but portrayed by Cassidy and occasionally by Jack Voglin), a disembodied hand that usually appears out of a small wooden box. Occasionally episodes would feature other relatives such as Cousin Itt (Felix Silla), Morticia’s older sister Ophelia (also portrayed by Carolyn Jones), or Grandma Frump, Morticia’s mother (Margaret Hamilton).
Much of the humor derives from their culture clash with the rest of the world. They invariably treat normal visitors with great warmth and courtesy, even though their guests often have evil intentions. They are puzzled by the horrified reactions to their own good-natured and normal behavior, since the family is under the impression that their tastes are shared by most of society. Accordingly, they view “conventional” tastes with generally tolerant suspicion. For example, Fester once cites a neighboring family’s meticulously maintained petunia patches as evidence that they are “nothing but riffraff”. A recurring theme in the epilogue of many episodes was the Addamses getting an update on the most-recent visitor to their home, either via mail, something in the newspaper, or a phone call. Invariably, as a result of their visit to the Addamses, the visitor would be institutionalized, change professions, move out of the country, or suffer some other negative life-changing event. The Addamses would always misinterpret the update and see it as good news for their most-recent visitor.
We will also be featuring a Celtic love ballad, explained by the supremely talented and luminous harpist, Joanna Mell.
For more information on hiring Joanna for an event, click HERE.
For samples of Joanna’s music, click HERE.
To buy Joanna’s albums, click HERE. (MUT NOte: Her Come Ye Back album is such a timeless classic, my son is trying to steal it from me!).