Wicked Wednesday: The Addams Family S1E1 “Happyester Fester” (1992)

So the official trailer for the new The Addams Family movie was released last week. And, well, it’s about exactly what you’d expect. It doesn’t look particularly great, plus there’s that on-going choice to include a rap/pop version of old theme tunes. It’s an “updating” that we don’t really need, but we’re getting anyway.

But our dear Addams have been through many cartoon and animated iterations since its birth as a comic strip in the 30’s. Inspired by the trailer for the new film, I wanted to watch an episode of the 1973 Hanna-Barbera cartoon. This, apparently, follows the Addams as they travel the country in a camper van. Turns out this show is difficult as all hell to track down. The more readily-available version is the 1992 one. And really, the one I’m more familiar with. Mostly because of that iconic main theme.

The show was developed in the wake of the 1991 Barry Sonnenfeld film. And it shares many traits with it’s other versions. Though I suppose it’s kind of difficult to really ‘branch out’ with these characters.

Episode one “Happyester Fester” gives very little background or introduction to the characters. I suppose at this point it assumes you’re just along for the ride.

Uncle Fester is in hiding after several failed inventions. It takes his first success to drag him from his dungeon. The invention, a new fabric, is cheap to make, making Gomez believe that they can generate a really profit from it.

Gomez takes Fester to see their neighbour Norman Normanmeyer, an underwear maker, to sell the fabric. He agrees to buy it, trying to underhand the Addams. But to insentivise them, he offers Fester the role of Vice President. Only Fester isn’t an easy VP to have. His list of unsual suggestions baffle Norman.

Norman and Fester are both targeted by a a rival underwear company. Though being Addamses, Fester escapes with the help of Wednesday and Pugsly. Fester, feeling he has betrayed Norman with all of his demands, decides to give up his formula. And, as a final twist, it’s revealed that Happyfester is incredibly itchy – just the way Fester wanted it.

It’s certinaly a wacky show. Perfect for the asthetic and style of 90s cartoons. The zany humour still remains. It’s a pretty cute show, even if it isn’t the best Addams there is.

And hopefully, despite what the trailer may be trying to tell us, the new movie will also be true to its predeccesors. If not, there are still 20 more episodes of this show to watch.

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