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chalk-stripe

Gomez Addams

Gomez Addams is the fictional patriarch of The Addams Family, created by cartoonist Charles Addams for The New Yorker magazine in the 1930s. Gomez was played by John Astin in the 1960s American television series. Astin also voiced the character in an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies which featured the family. In the first animated series by Hanna-Barbera, Gomez was voiced by Lennie Weinrib. In the second animated series, also by Hanna-Barbera, Gomez's voice was again performed by John Astin. He is known as Homero Addams in Spanish-speaking countries.

Name origin and family

In the Charles Addams cartoons, Gomez — as with all of the members of the family — had no name. When the 1964 television series The Addams Family was being developed, Charles Addams suggested naming the character either Repelli or Gomez. Addams left the final choice up to actor John Astin, who chose Gomez. Gomez is the husband of Morticia Addams, son (or, in some incarnations of the family, son-in-law) to Grandmama Addams, nephew-in-law (or sometimes brother) to Uncle Fester, and father to Wednesday and Pugsley. Gomez also has a butler named Lurch and a Cousin Itt. Gomez's paternal grandfather was Grandpa Squint Addams, who was the son of Pegleg Addams; oddly, Gomez's paternal grandmother was also named Squint.

Personality

Gomez is of Castilian extraction, and almost always dresses in a chalk-striped, dark-colored suit, sports slicked-back hair and a pencil-thin moustache. In the television shows, Gomez wore a necktie to his chalk-stripe suit, though in the films, Gomez wears a bow-tie. He enjoys smoking cigars, and is an accomplished juggler and knife-thrower. He is well-versed in all types of combat (or believes himself to be, at any rate), especially swordfighting. His favorite dance is The Freddy. Though head of the household, he is extremely naive and childish, with a short attention span and endless optimism. He has a childlike love for toys and is especially fond of setting up head-on collisions between his model trains. Gomez is passionately in love with Morticia; he affectionately calls her romantic names like Querida ("darling") and Cara Mia ("my beloved"), and is driven insane by the slightest of her actions, whether imitating animal noises or speaking French. In The New Addams Family, Gomez also has reactions to Spanish. He also doesn't care who speaks the French, as long as Morticia is there so he can kiss her arm. Like the rest of the family, Gomez is open and friendly to outsiders, though he finds their "normal" lifestyles bizarre.

Charles Addams' description went like this:

Gomez Addams is an athletic, acrobatic, and eccentric multi-billionaire. Though an extremely successful businessman, having acquired much of his wealth through investments, he seems to have little regard for money and will casually spend thousands of dollars on any whimsical endeavor (a fact that often mortifies visitors of the Addams household). Gomez's investments are guided more by whimsy than strategy, yet luck rarely fails him. "It's not for nothing that they call me "The Plunger"," he once boasted, an apparent reference to sticking doggedly with a stock despite low fluctuations, although this nickname was in fact bestowed upon him not by Wall Street investors but by the Plumbers' Union. According to The New Addams Family, he has 20-20 vision, and the heart of a 20-year-old track star -- Mama had performed the surgery herself.

In the original sitcom, Gomez owned businesses around the world, including a crocodile farm ("Crocodiles Unlimited"), a buzzard farm, a salt mine, a tombstone factory, a uranium mine, and many others. It was not unheard of for him to simply forget that he owned a controlling interest in a business or to draw a check on the wrong bank.

As a young man, Gomez was, per flashback in "Morticia's Romance," a perennially sickly youth, gaining perfect health only after meeting Morticia. He nevertheless studied law (voted "Most Likely Never to Pass the Bar"), and although he rarely practices, he takes an absurd delight in losing cases, boasting of having put many criminals behind bars while acting as their defense attorney; this is somewhat contradicted in the episode "The Addams Family Goes to Court," where it is noted that while Gomez has never won a case, he has never lost one either ("Perfect record!" boasts Grandmama). In The New Addams Family, Gomez had also studied medicine.

Gomez has offered contradictory views on work; in one episode, he claims that, although his family was wealthy even in his childhood, he nonetheless performed odd jobs and "scrimped and saved [his] kopeks," which he considered character building. When his son Pugsley decided to find a job, however, Gomez was horrified, claiming that "No Addams has worked in 200 years!" Possibly Gomez, who dotes on his children, feels that behavior that was good enough for him is not good enough for Pugsley.

Film versions

Gomez was played by Raúl Juliá in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993). The film version of Gomez shares the fun-loving personality of his sitcom counterpart, including his affinity for swordfighting and train sets. However, Gomez is noticeably calmer and more suave in the films than his television counterparts, and even speaks with a bit of an accent. Gomez also regularly plays chess with Thing, the disembodied hand, friend and servant of the family. Another quirk is his tendency to play golf on the roof of his house, enraging his next-door neighbor, who has to contend with golf balls smashing his windows. In the first film, Gomez has lost track of his brother Fester's whereabouts and has not spoken to him in 25 years. Gomez's desire to locate Fester leads him and his family being conned by grifters who want to swindle their fortune. Gomez is so depressed at being thrown out of his own home that he becomes unemployed and spends all day watching daytime TV.

The films differ from the television series in several ways, most significantly that Fester is Gomez's brother (in the television show, he was Morticia's uncle). The Addams Family notes that Gomez's parents were murdered by an angry mob. In Addams Family Values, Gomez and Morticia have a third child named Pubert, a seemingly indestructible baby with a waxed mustache like his father.

In 1998, Tim Curry took up the role in the film Addams Family Reunion. The next year, Gomez was played by Glenn Taranto in the TV series The New Addams Family, where he returned to the madcap attitude of his original 1960s incarnation.

References

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