Friday, March 30, 2012

Rant #706: Gomez Hits 82

While people wait on line to get their tickets for tonight's more than $500 million lottery jackpot, I prefer to sit back and snap my fingers.

You know: duh duh duh duh--snap snap--duh duh duh duh--snap snap--duh duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh--snap snap ...

"They're creepy and they're ooky, they're altogether spooky, The Addams Family--snap snap."

That was part of the theme song to one of television's creepiest series, "The Addams Family," starring John Astin.

Astin turns 82 today.

As a kid, I really didn't know what to make of the show. It was ookly, it was creepy, but it didn't wow me as "The Munsters" did.

I think this has to do with the fact that on "The Munsters," the characters were what we would call monsters: the Frankenstein monster, the vampire, etc.

On "The Addams Family," there weren't any "real" monsters, just very, very weird people.

And John Astin led the stellar cast as Gomez Addams, the husband of Morticia and the father of two of the weirdest looking children television has ever seen (actually, Wednesday was pretty cute, so it was really "one of the ... .").

Anyway, Astin was quite a well-known actor prior to this role, having appeared on numerous television shows and also with a minor role in the film classic "West Side Story."

But this show took him to new heights.

His portrayal of Gomez was spot on, sort of a mix of Groucho Marx and J. Paul Getty.

And when he romanced wife Morticia, played by another great actor, the late Carolyn Jones ... well, as a little kid, maybe this turned me off even more to the show; there was romance on "The Munsters," but it was more subtle.

Astin later married Patty Duke, and had several children with her, including Mackenzie Astin. He is the stepfather of Sean Astin.

They aren't married anymore, but their legacy together is solid, having appeared on numerous games shows as husband and wife. Patty Duke even took his last name for years.

I haven't seen Astin do anything for quite a while, so I assume he is retired from acting per se, although I do know he kind of morphed off screen as an acting teacher.

But when I conjur up that Gomez smile and look in my mind, well, I have to smile, too, even though I liked Herman Munster more than I did Gomez Addams. I did like Lurch, however.

"You rang?"

But happy birthday to Astin, an excellent actor who will forever be etched in our memory as the dashing Gomez Addams.

"Mon amour ... ."


  1. John founded an acting program at Johns Hopkins University which recently honored him by naming a theater after him. He's done mostly stage acting in recent years.

  2. The Munsters was a kids show that grown-ups could enjoy. The Addams Family was a grown-ups show that kids could enjoy.



yasmin lawsuit