Saturday, August 27, 2011

THE ADDAMS FAMILY - Season #1, Episode #13 - Vic Mizzy - "Lurch Learns To Dance!" (1964)

As kind of requested, and it is only fair as equal time, tonight we've got an episode of "The Addams Family" to present, and I tried to find one that had some special music in it, and ironically, it turned out to be season #1, episode #13 that was entitled "Lurch Learns To Dance!"

"The Munsters" and "The Addams Family" are from the same era, and the same basic concept of the monsteresque family sitcom is the same, but "The Munsters" was written specifically for TV, while "The Addams Family" had a longer history, and actually was based on one shot comic jokes by a wild cat named Charles Addams that appeared regularly in the upscale magazine 'The New Yorker' from 1938 to 1988 when he died! In 1964, the ABC-TV network created The Addams Family television series based on Addams's well known cartoon characters. It wasn't until 1964 that the family members actually received names. I swear I used to have a couple Charles Addams books laying around, but I can't seem to find them anymore. They might have just packed up and moved out on their own!

Ted Cassidy as Lurch is depressed because he's been invited to the annual "Butler's Ball" and he has one problem, he can't dance! If they checked for stitches, they might have found that he literally had two left feet! Ted Cassidy was six foot, and nine inches tall, and played one season of college hoop at Stetson University! He died way too young at the age of 46 in 1979!

The all too familiar music for "The Addams Fammily" was created by the well-known and extremely talented Vic Mizzy. As noted here in past posts, Vic did a lot of work with William Castle on films like "The Busy Body" and "The Spirit Is Willing" and the soon to be covered, "Night Walker," and his music always worked seamlessly with anything that had Don Knotts in it, like "The Ghost And Mr. Chicken," "The Reluctant Astronaut," or "The Shakiest Gun In The West!" The vocals on "The Addams Family" theme are three tracks sung by Vic himself and blended together to sound like a trio! What a guy!

Time for the dance lesson, and it's up to The Thing to get the music started!

The dance instructor was played by Penny Parker who also had the role of Poppy Herring in "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis."

When I was a kid, we used to see horned toads around here all the time, but you rarely see them any more. We used to call them horny toads, but then my Dad was going to build a Cathouse on the back porch too, but Mom said no!

Lurch could do one thing that Herman Munster could rarely do, and that was to actually look menacing!!

Little Wednesday Addams tries her hand at teaching Lurch to dance, but ballet doesn't quite seem to be his thing!

Gomez and Morticia look on in wonder! The casting of John Astin and Carolyn Jones was brilliant! Morticia's star shines so brightly, you have a tendency to forget some of Carolyn's other awesome roles in flicks like "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers," and Elvis's "King Creole!" She was also memorable as Marsha, the Queen of Diamonds on the "Batman" TV show! I didn't know til I was writing this that John Astin had a small uncredited role in "West Side Story" as 'Glad Hand!' John is also the only member of the original adult cast to still be alive!

Gomez Addams would have fared very well in today's financial market, he likes it when he loses money on his stock, so that he doesn't have to pay taxes on it!!

Finally Morticia steps in to show Lurch how to bust a move with "The Twist!" It's at this point we get to hear a bit more of Vic Mizzy's pop genius! "On with the dance!"

The rest of the family is less than sure! That's Lisa Loring as Wednesday Addams and Ken Weatherwax as Pugsley Addams! Lisa ended up with 13 career titles, but that included all 64 of "The Addams Family." She was married to porn star Paul David Siederman(Jerry Butler, not the singer) for a few years! Ken Weatherwax's whole career was as Pugsley, and later on he spent a lot of time building movie sets!

Now it's time for Gomez to teach Lurch to dance, and what else would Gomez be particularly talented at but The Tango!

Even with everybody trying to help him but Uncle Fester, and despite the wonderful costume he has, Lurch is still a lonely wallfower at the dance!

That is of course, until a strange and mysterious masked woman makes the scene, and Lurch and her put on an outstanding performance that brings the house down, and gets them a standing ovation!

You know the greatest thing about "The Addams Family" is that you can watch each and every stinking episode for free at places like "HULU" and if you can't take the commercials, try Netflix! Stay tuned for some titles coming up in the next few months that even I can't believe!!!


TABONGA! said...

Killer, this is one of the best episodes!!

Jenn said...

I vaguely remember this episode. Thanks for bringing it back to memory.

Prof. Grewbeard said...

thanx guys! when i was little i wanted to run away from home and go live with the Addams Family. i definitely got all my decorating ideas from them!

Douglas McEwan said...

The first time I saw WEST SIDE STORY, when John Astin made his entrance (He emcees the dance at the gym, and prevents a rumble from breaking out) the hwole audience broke out in delighted applause. It was a rerelease, and THE ADDAMS FAMILY was on the air by then, so he was very popular, and no one knew he was in the film, so it was like a "NORM!" reaction on CHEERS; everone was surprised and happy to see him.

My brother knows John Astin,and says he's a really terrific person.

Christopher said...

one of my faves next to the one where Lurch becomes a pop singing sensation! Addams and the Munster families had WAY better values than the so called "normal" families on TV today..

Greg Goodsell said...

Ken Weatherwax is still very much at it today -- a fat child, I was often taunted with cries of "Pugsley!"

Anonymous said...

What's the name of the twist song that wednesday dance with lurch?!

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

It sounds like in this clip that she calls it "The Droop," then Morticia calls the dance "The Berserker!"

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??