For October, the Television Crossover Hall of Fame is returning to its 2021 theme after a short hiatus. There are only three months left but we have five more inductions to make and three of them deal with the theme of ‘The Addams Family’.
The TVXOHOF has already welcomed Uncle Fester, Morticia, Puggsley and Wednesday into the Hall. For this month, we’re adding an employee of the Addams Family, one who is fitting for the month of October….
Thing T. Thing, often referred to as just Thing, is a fictional character in ‘The Addams Family’ series. Thing was originally conceived as a whole creature (always seen in the background watching the family) that was too horrible to see in person. The only part of it that was tolerable was its human hand (this can be seen in the 1964 television series). The Addamses called it "Thing" because it was something that could not be identified. Thing was changed to a disembodied hand for the 1991 and 1993 Addams Family films, a depiction retained throughout subsequent adaptations.
In the 1960s television series, Thing—strictly speaking, a disembodied forearm, since it occasionally emerged from its box at near-elbow length—was usually played by Ted Cassidy, who also played the lugubrious butler Lurch. The two characters occasionally appeared in the same scene (in which case Thing would be played by a crew member, notably assistant director Jack Voglin). Thing customarily emerged from a series of boxes, one in each room in the Addams' mansion, and the mailbox outside. It occasionally emerged from behind a curtain, within a plant pot, the family wall safe, or elsewhere.
Since Cassidy was 6' 9" (2.06 m) tall, using him to depict Thing caused great technical difficulties on the set of ‘The Addams Family’. In many scenes he lay on his back on a wheeled trolley, below the line of sight of the cameras, and inserted his arm through the bottom of the box. Thing was usually a right hand, but Cassidy sometimes played it as left, simply to see if anyone would notice. Thing is credited as "Itself" at the end of each episode.
Thing's many useful roles included fetching the mail, handing cigars to Gomez Addams and then lighting them, changing the channel on the Addams TV set, holding Morticia Addams's wool while she knits, turning grapes into wine in under a single minute, and turning over records on the phonograph (particularly when Gomez and Morticia dance the tango). It accompanies the family on drives by riding in the glove compartment, and in one episode, where Gomez appears in court, it emerged from Gomez's briefcase. Thing and Grandmama are fond of arm-wrestling. In a flashback episode on how Gomez and Morticia met, it is revealed that Thing has been with the Addams family since Gomez himself was a child, suggesting Thing is the son of an earlier generation of hand-servants.
Morticia is always very appreciative of Thing's services, and her frequent "Thank you, Thing" is one of the best known lines of the series; Wednesday takes after her mother in courteously expressing gratitude for Thing's assistance, also. Thing cannot talk, but it does sometimes snap its fingers to attract attention, and is also able to communicate by signaling in Morse code, writing, or with the help of the manual alphabet. This can be very disconcerting to visitors to the Addams' mansion; in a running gag in some episodes, a visitor to the Addams home, profusely grateful for some kindness of the Addamses', enthusiastically shakes hands with everyone present—"Thank you, Mr. Addams! Thank you, Mrs. Addams!"—and is then offered a handshake by Thing. "And thank you..." begins the visitor, before realizing who and what he has been confronted with, recoiling in inarticulate shock, and fleeing the premises.
|THING WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND, LADYFINGERS|
Thing is a multiversal, appearing in three TV series, one of which was from the Tooniverse (The original is in the main Toobworld.), the Halloween reunion TV movie, an episode of ‘Scooby Doo, Where Are You?’, four movies (two each in two different Cineverses), and a Broadway play.
There’s another Thing out there, from a dimension in which there is only photographic evidence – the Photoshop Universe. I can’t show you one particular example, but we’re dealing with a living hand! However, I think you can figure out what Thing T. Thing is doing in that picture….