Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Addams Family — Crisis In The Addams Family

This is the second episode on the Volume 2 DVD set, The Addams Family show from the '60s. Original airdate, March 12, 1965.

Wednesday, Pugsley, Mamma are nowhere to be found in this episode.

The whole set-up involves Gomez and Fester's activities in cannon-shooting and being pirates, admirals on the high seas. They have a picture of a boat on the wall, which gets shot and then becomes a boat split in half with water coming from the plumbing behind.

They need to file an insurance claim. We cut to their insurance agents, who have gotten lots of claims from the Addams Family. They want out of the policy, and find that if they pay off another little claim the policy will be cancelled. In the meantime, Fester wants to get a job, and gets one at the insurance agency. He sells Gomez a million dollar policy, which Gomez actually talks himself into buying since Fester is a poor salesman.

Gomez is fabulously wealthy, which detail I had forgotten. And it turns out that he has some controlling interest in the insurance company. So any problem from this point on, is covered by insurance, but since he owns the company, it's really his responsibility.

On this episode I was keying in on John Austin's very punchy portrayal of Gomez. He was very dynamic and exaggerated, great things going on with the eyes, gestures. He really seemed to relish the part. It's good in a role like this, not that there are that many, to really overplay it. And that striped suit always looks pretty good, which he even wore when he was parachute jumping. Also, I like Carolyn Jones' very demur, confident tone for Morticia. Very pretty and nice.

Lurch had some appearances. He takes the hats from the insurance agents, and has that scary look when they show up. And he's bringing tea to Fester's room when he's not feeling well. It's a very crisp looking show, the plots are exaggerated nonsense but still delightful anyway in their own way.

Fester is always a treasured portrayal. He looks ridiculous, yet weirdly iconic, sitting with the normal people in the insurance office. I'd like to take the gawkers by the scruff and say, "Hey, that's Fester! He's going to be well-known long after you're gone!"

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