They’re mysterious and spooky, and The Addams Family will soon be celebrating 60 years of charming audiences come September.

“Kids are drawn to the kooky characters,” Edward K. Cooper, author of It’s the Addams Family: Tribute to the Kooky Series, ​exclusively tells Closer, but “there’s a lot of subliminal humor that goes on that I think makes it appealing to lots of different audiences.”

While its clever setups — thanks to producer and head writer Nat Perrin, who’d worked with Groucho Marx — still tickle audiences today, there’s a lot about the series many fans might not know. For example, Charles Addams, the illustrator whose New Yorker cartoons came to life in the series, had some wild name ideas for his characters.

“He wanted Rapelli for Gomez,” Cooper shares, “and he suggested Pubert for Pugsley, but the censors and the network felt that wasn’t a great name for a family show.”

John Astin, Cooper adds, “originally tested for the role of Lurch,” but Astin revealed that a lunch over martinis with executive producer David Levy changed that.

“He said, ‘This show is really Father Knows Best with different people, and I want you to be the father. Then we’ll cast the rest of it,” Astin recalled.

The star was thrilled when Carolyn Jones landed the role of his wife, Morticia, although their shared agents had secured them both top billing.

“I said, ‘No problem.’ And I’m glad I did,” Astin recalled. “We couldn’t have found anyone better.”

Their chemistry proved undeniable, and Gomez and Morticia’s sparks led to them becoming TV pioneers.

“I never saw another show where you watched a husband and wife and could imagine a carnal relationship,” Astin shared, though while Gomez would go to town kissing Morticia’s arms, the lovebirds’ lips never met.

The Addams Family: Secrets From the Set of the Beloved Show
Don Cravens / Getty Images

Things still got plenty hot, however, in the breast pocket of Gomez’s suit jacket, where Astin would extinguish his cigars. For safety reasons, the show’s prop people lined the actor’s pockets with flame-killing asbestos. Another costume secret involves Ken Weatherwax, who played Pugsley.

“He was apparently allergic to wool,” Cooper tells Closer, “so his mother had to buy all his costumes at [local] stores.”

Jackie Coogan went to even greater lengths to secure his role as Uncle Fester after a failed first audition.

“He went home and shaved his head, went back and re- tested again and got the part,” Cooper reveals.

However, Felix Silla, who played hirsute Cousin Itt, once joked to a radio show that Coogan’s bare skull came back to haunt him.

“Every time we would start filming, I would hear some- body snoring, and there he was, Jackie Coogan, sleeping on his chair,” Silla said. “And the director would go by his chair and slap him on the head!”

Though Silla teased that Coogan “ruined so many scenes,” nothing spoiled the series’ impact.

“One thing the show says is that it doesn’t matter what you’re like outside, it’s inside that counts,” Astin shared about the true secret to its success. “[It’s] really about the joy of life, and it’s about family love. It’s about really good stuff.”

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