Do you remember the Hanna-Barbera Addams Family cartoon from the 1970s?
An unexpected Oscar winner voiced Pugsley!
The "altogether ooky" Addams family has remained a popular part of the public consciousness for over eight decades. Beginning with cartoons in The New Yorker, new adaptations brought the macabre antics of Gomez, Morticia and the rest to new generations about once a decade.
The original 1964 television version brought the yet-to-be-named characters off the page and gave the family all new life. What was a single-panel comic strip became a full-fledged sitcom satirizing the other "normal" TV families on the airwaves at the time. But this classic series was only the first of many Addams adaptations.
In 1972, Hanna-Barbera made "Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family," a crossover cartoon that featured John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan and Ted Cassidy all voicing their original characters. The very next year, the iconic animation studio created a whole new show around the Addams family — but with a twist.
The 1973 cartoon, simply titled The Addams Family, took the titular household on a cross-country road trip… in a Victorian mansion on wheels. Ted Cassidy and Jackie Coogan returned to voice Lurch and Uncle Fester but voice actors Lennie Weinrib and Janet Waldo performed Gomez and Morticia.
A child actor who had already been in everything from Mayberry, R.F.D. to Gunsmoke and Adam-12 filled in as Pugsley. That's right, none other than 10-year-old Jodie Foster was cast as the precocious Addams son. Yes, that Jodie Foster. She was Pugsley!
Though there were fewer than 20 episodes, the program was broadcast and rerun on Saturday mornings throughout the mid-1970s. It kept all the fun kookiness of the live-action sitcom with some added gags that only animation can provide – like the "RV" digging a moat around itself at each campsite or the stone-faced presidents on Mount Rushmore getting wide-eyed at the site of the Addams Family.
Though this small part of the Addams Family cannon may not be widely remembered, it hasn't been completely forgotten. The sequel to the 2019 animated Addams Family feature film due out later in 2021 follows Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley and Lurch as they pile into an eerie RV and travel the country. The movie also features rapper Snoop Dogg as Cousin Itt. Interestingly, the character played by D-O-double-G is only spelled with one 'T' as "It" in the movie's trailer. Typo or rebranding?