Why do we like The Addams Family so much?

What is it about the dark lifestyle of the Addamses that appeals to people? Does it appeal to our love of the weird? Does it appeal to our darker natures that we dare not show to the world? Does it take the scariness out of death?

Speaking as someone who mostly only watched the movies and the shortlived cartoon, rather than the original B&W series or the original-original comics the series was based off:

Because as creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky as the Addamses were, they were still a tightly-knit, loving family. To outsiders who saw past the creepy exterior, they were friendly, likable, intelligent, genteel, and welcoming. Despite appearances, they weren’t bad people, just different.

Never a fan.

I did like **The Munsters **though.

It’s dark humor and I love dark humor. I wish I had a lion living in my basement and a scary butler.

And frankly, I am Wednesday and always have been.

Dark, macabre, sophisticated, alternative, and more than a bit sexy.

At least that’s what made me sit up and take notice of the original TV show.

It led me to the original cartoon drawings, and I found them enjoyable for the same reasons.

The family was funny and entertaining. Gomez and Morticia were clearly deeply in love and their interests were off-beat enough for them to be wish fulfillment. They did what they wanted and didn’t worry about it. That’s why they’re appealing.

Someone once pointed out that Addamses thought everyone was like them (and thus figured visitors would accept their interests) while the Munsters thought they were like everyone else (and they were a more normal family). Nearly all Addams Family episodes involved strangers going into their how and boggling at what was there; the Munsters had more episodes that took place out of the home.

They are creepy, kooky, mysterious, and ookie.

They got the whole package.

The original magazine cartoons drawn by Charles Addams could legitimately be described as dark or macabre. The TV show(s), animated cartoons, and movies were rather silly and no more dark or macabre than “The Groovie Goolies.” They were, at most, non-threatening versions of dark humor that didn’t cause the fundamental unease that the real thing does.
I say this as a fan of the 60’s show and the Raul Julia/Anjelica Houston movies.

OP is overthinking this. We like it because it’s funny. The set-ups, the delivery, the actors, the art from the original drawings… if it didn’t work as humor the weirdness, the darkness, etc wouldn’t matter.

And they were cheerfully and unapologetically different.

See the old Addams Family vs. the Munsters thread for more insight.

I think a lot of the credit goes to the strength of the acting of the original b/w series. Gomez, Morticia, Fester, and Grandma were outstanding and memorable. The Munsters, in comparison, were performed relatively forgettably.

Oh, certainly. And let’s not forget the writing and directing.

But the dark themes added something else as well. It was definitely not the Brady Bunch.

The Addamses were bravura. They did everything with enthusiasm and brio. The Munsters were constantly trying to play down their differences; the Addames reveled in being themselves.

Actually The Addams Family is best in small doses. I watched a DVD of the first season and noticed how often the same joke would be repeated in every episode (e.g., visitor sees fish with human leg and boggles at it. Visitor sees Cleopatra and does a double take. Visitor sees Kitty and runs out of the house).

I don’t know, but I still want to be Christina Ricci’s Wednesday Adams when I grow up.

Ooh, somebody should start a poll!

I loved the out of home episode- where Uncle Fester turned into a wolf, and Morticia had to wear him like a mink stole in order to transport him safely back home.

Judging from that other thread, I think it’s pretty easy to figure out who’d win.

Growing up, we had a giant book of New Yorker cartoons & learned a lot of history & culture from that source. It took years to understand why the bloated capitalists inviting the other bloated capitalists to the Trans-Lux to hiss Roosevelt were funny.

But we liked Charles Addams right away; his cartoons about the bizarre family were the best. The TV show came on when I was beginning to be too hip for that stuff–still, it was better than The Munsters.

And I loved the movies. Raul Julia & Anjelica Huston were an ideal couple…

The Addams Family TV show was obviously intended for a young audience, but had sophisticated gags that appealed to adults as well. The Munsters was a
kiddie program that was less funny and comparatively unoriginal.

The Addams Family had a big advantage in springing from the mind of Charles Addams, whose cartoons covered a wide spectrum of the bizarre and disturbing, with goodly amounts of dark humor mixed in.

I was thinking of one of my favorites just the other day.

Paul Rudnick’s movie gave me a good clue. The Addams family not only looked different from everyone else, they thought differently from everyone else, as did many of their fans when growing up. The Munsters just looked different. Gomez and Mortiscia never really understood the reactions of visitors since they thought they were perfectly normal.

The camp revolution sequence in the movie, my favorite, shows that so well. It is pretty clear how Rudnick, growing up gay and Jewish, identifies with the Addamses.