The Addams Family Is Over 75 Years Old. Here's Where They First Appeared

Like all good monsters and pop culture icons, the Addams Family just won't go away, having appeared in countless media for decades now. And why not? It's impossible to hate such a tight, loving family, especially one that also has a disembodied hand as a member. The playfully morbid aspect of the Addams Family is a large part of what has kept them so relevant for so long; from Pugsley's pet octopus Aristotle to Morticia's witch mother, Granny Hester Frump, audiences have always delighted at the clan's casually spooky lifestyle.

The Addams Family gained widespread recognition with the debut of their first television show in 1964, lasting for two seasons (per IMDb). Though this series wasn't around for too long, it was popular enough to secure the eponymous family's place in pop culture history (per Collider), and it wasn't long before they reemerged in various other series and even on the big screen. It seems that there will never be a generation that isn't familiar with their own version of the Addams Family.

The real origin of the Addams Family

While much of the world was first introduced to the Addams Family via their 1960s TV series, they had actually been around for quite some time before they made their leap to the small screen. As reported in Smithsonian Magazine, their creator was Charles Addams who, despite a pretty typical upbringing with a loving family, always had a love for the darker side of things. But he had a healthy outlet, which was drawing, something he displayed a talent for at a young age; Addams sold his first cartoon to The New Yorker when he was still a student at Grand Central School of Art in New York City.

Smithsonian Magazine states that Addams made quite a career for himself in cartooning, working for publicaitons like Collier's, TV Guide, and of course The New Yorker. It was that latter publication that introduced a certain morbid family to the world across 58 cartoons throughout the 1940s and 1950s. One of the more interesting facts about this early incarnation of the Addams Family was that they were unnamed in comic strip form. However, many classic elements were introduced here: the characters' likenesses, the gallows humor, and the quirky neo-gothic sensibility.

The Addams Family's long legacy

According to Smithsonian Magazine, Charles Addams cultivated quite a name for himself as a top cartoonist and even got to pal around with such contemporary luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, dated Jackie Kennedy (with whom he was in a romantic relationship with after JFK's assassination), but it wasn't his signature family that got him much attention. In fact, the "Addams Family" panels comprised only 58 of the roughly 1,300 cartoons that he produced for The New Yorker.

But the family clearly struck a chord with someone, so much so that a TV show was created to bring them to life. And it's a life that seems to be never-ending. As stated in Collider, the short-lived yet popular 1960s TV series would lead to the Addams Family on television and theater screens for decades, including an animated series in 1973, a 1977 Halloween special, two live action films in the early 1990s, and more. And with Tim Burton's Netflix series "Wednesday," it's clear that the Addams Family won't be going away anytime soon.