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View Full Version : Addams Family or Munsters?


Gr8Kat
09-10-1999, 03:01 PM
Definitely Addams Family. For a family of kooks and weirdos, they exuded class, grace, and charm. The Munsters, though, were just low-rent monster movie escapees. The Addams Family was corny, the Munsters was just dumb. And, puh-leeze, Lily Munster was such a wanna-be compared to Morticia.

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"I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it," Jack Handy

Misanthrope
09-10-1999, 04:08 PM
Maybe if Hollywood had made a feature film about the Munsters your opinion would be different.

Besides, didn't the Munsters have the cute blonde relative who would make appearances every now and then?

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D'oh

VegForLife
09-10-1999, 05:28 PM
Yeah, if by "now and then" you mean "in every episode."

Rich

GLWasteful
09-10-1999, 06:02 PM
Gotta go with The Addams Family, for all of the reasons explained. Also, they sprang from the mind of Charles Addams, a purveyor of some of the finest dark humor ever.

Waste
Flick Lives!

Gr8Kat
09-10-1999, 06:03 PM
Maybe if Hollywood had made a feature film about the Munsters your opinion would be different.

Doubtful, since I like the Addams Family movies about as well as I like the Munsters.

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"I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it," Jack Handy

VegForLife
09-10-1999, 06:56 PM
Depending on your definition of "feature film," Hollywood may have already made some of the Munsters. There's been at least one movie which I believe was a made-for-TV pile of waste, and I think there may have been more. I haven't seen either of The Addams Family movies, but the few minutes I saw of the Munsters TV movie could not have been better than either one, no matter how bad they were.

Rich

Markxxx
09-11-1999, 04:11 AM
The Munsters are more in your face ha ha type humor. The Adams more sublte.

I vote for Munsters. But did anyone else notice how really beautiful Carolyn Jones was. (that was Mrs. Adams right?)

aseymayo
09-11-1999, 04:19 AM
Addams - John Astin was brilliant. The Munsters are only tolerable in B&W.

geedub99
09-11-1999, 04:57 PM
Face it:Gomez is cool,Morticia's a hotty,and Fester is the quintessntial uncle.

smilingjaws
09-15-1999, 03:27 PM
ADDAMS, ADDAMS, ADDAMS!
Loved the dancing on the movies
Ditto the arm kissing
& Cousin IT

MrKnowItAll
09-16-1999, 12:39 AM
As far as I can tell, the only thing the Munsters have on the Addams family is that they were first. One of the rare times a concept rip-off actually produced a superior program.

GuanoLad
09-16-1999, 03:36 AM
Those who haven't seen the Addam's Family movies, you are missing out on a stylistic, wicked treat! And the sequel is actually better than the first!

The Addam's Family TV show was brilliant, too. John Astin is a comic genius, and they showed great foresight to let his natural humour show through the character, helping define a family that wasn't merely scary, just marvellously eccentric.

The Munsters had no subtlety, that's all.

GuanoLad
09-16-1999, 03:38 AM
Damn! I put apostrophes all through that! Doggone it!

Please ignore them. No apostrophes. Okay? It's all an illusion...

MrKnowItAll
09-16-1999, 09:01 PM
Well, damn! I need to start checking my facts before I post. The Addams Family debuted a week or two before the Munsters. Please ignore my previous post.

Satan
09-16-1999, 09:59 PM
Two words: Cousin It.
One more: Thing.

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Yer pal,
Satan

tracer
09-16-1999, 10:20 PM
And one more: Lurch.

BTW, there was a modern Munsters series on TV just a few years ago, called The Munsters Today. It made the old black-and-white Munsters episodes look like cinematic classics by comparison.

The one thing the Munsters did have going for them was that their theme music had baritone saxophones in it.

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I'm not flying fast, just orbiting low.

nitroglycerine
03-14-2002, 05:10 AM
Ok...I'm reviving an old post here, but I just gotta say, Grandpa Munster kicked ass. He was way more sinister and twisted than Fester. Ok....maybe its time to put down the bong and go to bed.....:D

Jon

plnnr
03-14-2002, 08:49 AM
Addams' cartoons first appeared in The New Yorker, IIRC. The Munsters were over the top, while the Addams Family had a little more restraint. The Addams family members weren't even monsters in my book, just extremely odd humans (with the exception of Thing). The show also allowed Jackie Coogan to have a little something in the bank, after having been a child star in the very early days of Hollywood and having his parents rob him blind.

The Munsters were clearly based on classic monster characters and were just drawn broader. That being said, Ed Wynn (a Yale graduate) did a pretty good job with the material as Herman Munster, and Al Lewis was good as Grandpa. The Munster's also had a great car.

As an aside, my brother used to have a bulldog named Pugsly Addams. And Blossom Rock, who played Grandmama Addams, had a terrific name.

CalMeacham
03-14-2002, 09:22 AM
There was at least one Munster "real" movie, as I believe Misanthrope was slyly suggesting, Munster, Go Home. It was in color (while the TV series was black and white) and used most of the original cast:

http://us.imdb.com/Title?0060726

I seem to recall another Munster movie, but the IMDB doesn't list another feature film. It does list six hits for TV shows, though.

Despite a talented cast, the Munsters was pretty lame. The Addams Family, as noted, was based on the macabre cartoons of Charles Addams, and the TV series was at its best when it duplicated those cartoons. Stringing them together into even a semi-coherent plot was the trick. I'm glad that the first movie, at least, also went back to Addams' cartoons for its humor, rather than having it second-hand by way of the TV show.

But for my money, a better way of evoking humor from monster families isn't to try and build a plot out of linked cartoons or a family constructed, Frankenstein-like, from bits of horror movies. I prefer the straight-out parody of Young Frankenstein

armedmonkey
03-14-2002, 09:30 AM
Since this is in Great Debates............

Munsters. The Adam's Family, though it efficiently skewered the foibles of the Average American Family, did not contain the relevant social commentary contained within the Munsters.

The Munsters were the first interacial (Frankenstein and Vampire) TV couple and their struggles to be accepted by society at large have great relevance even today. The father figure was not truly clumsy, but weighed down by the worry that his peers would not accept his alternative-lifestyle based family. This fear of non-acceptance caused a pathological nervousnous manifested through his awkwardness and loud inappropriate laughter when in social situations. That his neighbors did tolerate him and his mixed race family is an inspirational message to us all.

Eliahna
03-14-2002, 09:42 AM
The Addams Family, hands down.

Hard to believe Grandpa Munster is still alive after all these years... born 1910 according to IMDB (real name: Al Lewis).

I had thought Yvonne Carlo (Lily Munster) was dead too, but she's still alive. Fred Gwynne (Herman) died in 1993.

Blossom Rock is on the IMDB as Marie Blake, birth name Edith Blossom McDonald.

RiverRunner
03-14-2002, 01:18 PM
I have to go with the Addamses, too, but I did like the job that Fred Gwynne did with Herman Munster. He made him a real lovable big guy. Herman was a child at heart, and that added something to the series for me.

Still, ya gotta love Gomez. Anybody who puts his lit cigar into his vest pocket is OK by me.


RR

rjung
03-14-2002, 03:16 PM
Just to get in before this thread is moved to Cafe Society, I'll say that I grew up with Munsters reruns, and gotta vote for them on that result. Grampa Munster was a hoot, and whats-her-name (the girl) was a babe. ;)

On the other hand, Williams' Addams Family Pinball (based on the first movie) r0xx0rs.

blowero
03-14-2002, 04:04 PM
Which is better, feces or excrement?

Gaudere
03-14-2002, 04:17 PM
[Moderator Hat ON]

Moving to Cafe Society.

[Moderator Hat OFF]

Fern Forest
03-14-2002, 04:54 PM
By theme song alone The Addams Family takes the lead. It had better quotes too "Tish, you spoke French!", "Caramia!" and "Uhhhhhh." And they had a better house. The Munsters house always felt so cramped and closed in, like I was in my Grandma's apartment in NYC. Yet I love the high vaulted ceilings the Adams Family had.

Plus sometimes the Munsters felt like ... I Dream of Jeannie.

Creaky
03-14-2002, 05:24 PM
Definitely the Addams Family, for me.

As a little kid I loved all of the "Crazy Dad" type stuff that Gomez was always doing.... grabbing his wife and kissing her when she spoke French; getting all buggy-eyed watching the ticker tape coming off of his home stock market thingie; stalking around waving a cigar like Gothic Groucho; paying for everything by pulling wads of crumpled cash from his pockets, causing heinous train wrecks with his model set, etc.

As a "Crazy Mom", Morticia was right up there, too: cutting the blossoms off of her roses and putting the [I]thorns[I] in a vase; asking "Do you mind if I smoke?" and then literally smoldering like she was on fire; doing a little SM bit with Gomez with the dental equipment (she'd go at him with a drill and he'd groove on it "Ah, Tish! Excellent! You hit a nerve!").

Grammama rocked... who wouldn't want a practicing witch for a grandmother?? And she carried herself really well. I mean, she may have had funky wrinkled clothes and messy hair, but I bet she was Deb of the Year in like 1905 or something. Uncle Fester was just giggly and weird enough to be a bit scary, but he was so cheerful all the time it was hard to be scared of him for too long. The fact that he could make lightbulbs light up by putting them in his mouth was just the coolest thing to me, too.

Lurch of course was awesome. How cool to have a guy working for you who could also play the harpsichord. The kids were okay, but I don't remember too many episodes where they really stood out. In a way, the way the kids' roles were treated appealed to me as a kid, because I could really relate to being seen and not heard, and using that relative domestic anonymity to do some really fun stuff when nobody was looking. (Of course, I never got to blow stuff up.) Cousin It was just sort of part of the weird background, but at least he looked kind of scary, so that was okay. I also loved the fact that only the family could understand him. The only character who didn't do a whole lot for me was Thing. Not sure why.

Later on my dad turned me on to the old New Yorker Addams Family cartoons, and they were fabulous. Classic, tasty, macabre, and really funny. Charles Addams and James Thurber, incidentally, were two of the reasons I ended up as a cartoonist at a local newpaper for brief time.

Doubting Robert
03-14-2002, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by plnnr
Ed Wynn (a Yale graduate) did a pretty good job with the material as Herman Munster

plnnr, you meant to say Fred Gwynne, of course. And if the IMDb is right, he went to Harvard, not Yale.

Personally, my favorite TV show with Fred Gwynne was "Car 54, Where Are You?", which costarred Joe E. Ross. Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster) was in it, too.

Back to the OP: I much prefer The Addams Family, but I have to admit, I watched them both when they were new.

Doubting Robert
03-14-2002, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by tracer

BTW, there was a modern Munsters series on TV just a few years ago, called The Munsters Today. It made the old black-and-white Munsters episodes look like cinematic classics by comparison.


Yeah, I saw part of one episode once. That was all I could stand. What a waste of John Schuck's talent!

rocking chair
03-14-2002, 08:05 PM
addams family hands down. for so many reasons...

they have a butler. lurch is the ultimate. i want lurch at my house.

they have an awesome house. i could live there.

morticia is the perfect woman. i always thought she was too good for gomez.

they have a pet lion.

they have a foghorn door bell.

who couldn't use an extra hand...er... thing around the house.

i do the "mail's in" noise when delivering things at work. some people get it.

Lamia
03-14-2002, 08:16 PM
Even as a small child I felt that The Munsters was a very ordinary sitcom about very ordinary characters who simply looked weird. The Addams Family was about characters who really were weird.

Bippy the Beardless
03-14-2002, 09:12 PM
Just has to be the Adams Family,
Moricia is my ideal woman.

jab1
03-14-2002, 09:42 PM
The original Addams Family, no question about it. Even the '90s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0222517) was better than the original Munsters. (They managed to get John Astin to play Gomez!) H-B also made an Addams series in the '70s (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0069554). Here's a trivia tidbit for you: The voice of Pugsley in that series was Jodie Foster.

But, heavens to Cecil, that recent series that was on the Fox Family channel was lame garbage. I'm glad it's gone. John Astin appeared as Grandpapa Addams and I didn't see it and I bet it would have been painful to see him in a pale shadow of a great series.

As for Munster actors, there was a Munster made-for-tv movie (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0113296) made in 1995 that starred Edward Herrmann as Herman and Hill Street Blues' Veronica Hamel as Lily. That has to be one of the worst made-for-TV flicks in history.

Billy Rubin
03-14-2002, 10:31 PM
Morticia has that smoldering, dark sensuality which percolates my hormones. Gomez has a nonchalance about the ridiculous and the sublime which is stunning. I want to be Gomez. I want to be maried to Morticia. I want to lose all self control when she speaks french and maul her in front of whoever is around.

Mostly, I want Lurch to be my butler. Fester? Thing? Cousin it? Okay, whatever. But Wow, Morticia.

Of course Fred Gwyne was a riot- comparing the two is sort of like comparing hamburgers and steak. I sometimes like a hamburger.

b.

rowrrbazzle
03-14-2002, 11:11 PM
Addams Family, no question.Originally posted by rocking chair
i do the "mail's in" noise when delivering things at work. some people get it. I use the Addams "Mail's In" .wav on my PC.

Doug Bowe
03-15-2002, 01:31 AM
Addams.
I even think the way Lurch in real life got buired in a back yard and forgotten kind of fits in to the show he played in.

Fionn
03-15-2002, 11:43 AM
Even though both shows have good theme songs, the Addams Family is vastly superior to the Munsters. Even when I was younger, I couldn't stay interested in a Munsters episode much longer than the theme song. I loved the Addams characters, and their house looked like the greatest place in the world to live.

I even loved the two Addams movies, though the second one was much better than the first. Where else could you find a situation like Morticia saying to Fester's new wife "You have enslaved Fester. You have taken him from us. You have put him under some strange sexual spell. All that I can forgive. But, Debbie...pastels?"

roadrunner70
03-15-2002, 12:06 PM
Morticia: Gomez, do you know what the penalty for bigamy is in this state?

Gomez:(reading the stock quotes, not missing a beat): I should imagine it would be having two wives.


BWAAAAHHHAAAAAAHHAAAAAA!!!!!!!!

Knowed Out
03-15-2002, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by tracer

The one thing the Munsters did have going for them was that their theme music had baritone saxophones in it.


So? The Addams theme had low reeds too! It had bass clarinets.

LonesomePolecat
03-15-2002, 06:30 PM
There was a feature film of the Munsters produced and released back in the sixties. I don't recall the title, but I clearly remember watching it in the theater. It wasn't a made-for-tv thing, though it was low budget. I seem to remember that the plot revolved around Herman Munster having to win some kind of race with the family's hot rod hearse to save the family's estate back in Europe.

I watched both The Addams Family and The Munsters and enjoyed them, but I much preferred the Addams Family. The only point on which the Munsters were clearly superior to the Addams family was that Herman drove that really cool hot rod hearse mentioned previously. It was available as a model kit, and of course I had it (and wish I still had it). It was designed by some famous custom car builder out on the West Coast. (Wasn't the designer's first name Boris?) It was a real, functional car, too, not just a prop.

My favorite bit from The Addams Family: Towards the end of a show, Morticia and Gomez have just done something that will save the local school system from going under. Gomez says brightly, "Just think, Tish, we may have saved the world!" Morticia smiles, and then a look of deep concern comes over her face. "Oh, dear," she says, "do you think we did the right thing?"

Our family had a cat named Morticia.:)

jab1
03-15-2002, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by LonesomePolecat
The only point on which the Munsters were clearly superior to the Addams family was that Herman drove that really cool hot rod hearse mentioned previously. It was available as a model kit, and of course I had it (and wish I still had it). It was designed by some famous custom car builder out on the West Coast. (Wasn't the designer's first name Boris?)It was George Barris. (http://www.barris.com) He also designed the TV Batmobile, the Beverly Hillbillies truck, the Monkee-mobile, the Knight rider car, The Dukes' General Lee and other movie and TV cars. Here is the Munster Koach's home page. (http://www.munsterkoach.com/default.asp)

Does anyone else remember Grandpa's "Drag-u-la"? That was Barris's work, too.

ianzin
03-16-2002, 10:56 AM
Has to be the Addams Family. The original Charles Addams New Yorker cartoon strips are superb, and the TV show was a good attempt to preserve the spirit of Addams' work while creatively adapting it to the needs of a a sitcom format. The casting was superb.

The Munsters was just a pale imitation of the same idea.

Mudshark
03-18-2002, 10:25 PM
The Addams Family was a lot cooler than The Munsters.

halfliquid
03-18-2002, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by CalMeacham
There was at least one Munster "real" movie, as I believe Misanthrope was slyly suggesting, Munster, Go Home. It was in color (while the TV series was black and white) and used most of the original cast:

I seem to recall another Munster movie, but the IMDB doesn't list another feature film. It does list six hits for TV shows, though.
Munster, Go Home was from 1964; and a made for tv movie, The Munster's Revenge, was aired in 1981.

Jeffrey Hartnett
03-19-2002, 02:06 AM
Yet another vote for the Addams Family.
As a youngster I enjoyed it much more than the Munsters.
Although I must admit the Munsters had a graat car.

jack@ss
03-19-2002, 05:32 AM
I liked the Munsters better when I was a child of 5&6. Not only did the Munsters have the coolest cars, their theme song was cooler. And I identified with Eddie more than I did with Pugsley.

As an adult, I can appreciate the Addams family being more than a collection of 1930s monster movie stereotypes, but as a small child I liked the Munsters better.

And I still like their theme song, especially the Los Straightjackets cover.

silent_rob
03-19-2002, 05:40 AM
It's like going back to the 80's & comparing Wang Chung and Bananarama. Can't we just enjoy the genius that is their music? ;)