Friday, December 3, 2021


We’re… lurching to the last of the scheduled inductions into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, and all three of them are part of our mini-theme for 2021 – the members of The Addams Family.

Our Addams Family inductions this year have been rather testosterone top-heavy, with the exceptions being Morticia and her daughter Wednesday.  So the overall December showcase will feature the matriarch of the family from the previous generation….


[Besides, the other two inductees are better suited to particular days.]

Grandmama is being inducted for her status as a multiversal, since her physical features (and especially in the animated version, her voice) were always changing.  Blossom Rock was the first actress to assay the role with the television series. But she was unable to return for the reunion TV movie and so the parade of replacements began.

[If you're wondering why the animated series, the Scooby-Doo movie, and the theatrical live-action films don't show up in this post, it's because it was Grandmama/Granny Frump, not Addams, in those productions.]

I’m handing over the rest of this ceremony to Wikipedia, as Grandmama was never a character I gave much attention….

From Wikipedia:
Grandmama is a fictional character in the Addams Family television and film series. First appearing in the works of cartoonist Charles Addams, she is a supporting character in the series film, television, and stage adaptations.

Grandmama Addams is an aged witch who concocts potions and spells, and dabbles in fortune telling and knife throwing. She is the grandmother of the Addams children, Pugsley and Wednesday, although her relationship to the other family members is less consistent. Grandmama first appeared along with the then-unnamed Addams family in Charles Addams' original cartoons published in The New Yorker, in which she was regularly illustrated with shoulder-length frizzy hair and a fringed shawl. Addams described Grandmama in a 1963 character synopsis as "a disrespectful old hag" and "foolishly good-natured ... a weak character [who] is easily led."

In Charles Addams' original The New Yorker cartoon strips, the character was referred to as Grandma Frump, therefore making her Morticia's mother.

For the original television series — as well as 'The New Addams Family', in which she is named Eudora Addams — her relationship to the family is retconned and she becomes Gomez's mother with a different Granny Frump remaining as Morticia's mother.

However, both the feature films and animated television series conform to Charles Addams' original concept of Grandmama as Wednesday's and Pugsley's maternal grandmother. In the first film, Morticia and Fester discuss how "Mother and Father Addams" were killed by an angry mob, removing any possibility that Grandmama could be Gomez and Fester's mother. In the third film, in which she is named Esmeralda, she is again implied to come from Morticia's family. The character is simply referred to as Granny in the two animated series.

In the 1992 series, Grandmama is of Morticia's family, when she introduces herself with the line "the name's Granny Frump".

In the Broadway musical "The Addams Family", Morticia refers to Grandmama as Gomez and Uncle Fester's mother, to which Gomez reacts with surprise and says that he thought she was Morticia's mother. Morticia later says that Grandmama "may not even be part of this family".

In the animated film and its sequel, she is Gomez and Fester's mother while Granny Frump is long dead.

The character was named "Grandmama" for the 1960s television series in order to avoid confusion with Granny from 'The Beverly Hillbillies'. She was played by Blossom Rock, who won the role over actresses such as Minerva Urecal and Marjorie Bennett, while Alice Pearce had been rejected after the producers deemed her too young for the part. She is depicted as being good friends with Morticia's mother Granny Frump (portrayed by Margaret Hamilton) who is also the mother of Morticia's sister Ophelia.

Due to illness, Rock was the one regular cast member from the show who did not return for the 1977 reunion film Halloween with the New Addams Family, and she was replaced as Grandmama by Jane Rose.

Grandmama was played by Betty Phillips in the 1998-99 television series The New Addams Family.

Bette Midler voiced the character in the 2019 computer-animated film. She is shown to be Gomez's and Fester's mother. When she arrives at the Addams Family house before the Saber Mazurka following her robbery in Spain, she treats Pugsley to the candy that is on her feet.

At one point, Grandmama called Lurch by the name of "Fabio". Grandmama is also revealed to have a dwarfish sister named Sloom (voiced by Jenifer Lewis) who oversees Pugsley's Saber Mazurka and had an argument with her which Grandmama claimed that she won.

Grandmama Addams appears in "The Addams Family 2" voiced again by Bette Midler. While most of the Addams Family went on a cross-country road trip, Grandmama kept an eye on the house and threw a house party. When it got out of control, Grandmama called Cousin Itt to help get it back under control. By the time the Addams Family returned to their house, Grandmama and Cousin Itt had restored the house back to what it was before the party.

In the 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System game "Fester's Quest", the instruction booklet says Grandmama's psychic powers foretold the alien invasion that would come and abduct all the people in the city, so she invokes a curse on the family mansion. As a result, when extraterrestrial scouts scan the Addams residence for life forms they find none, thanks to Grandmama's curse.

Grandmama was played by Jackie Hoffman in the 2010 Broadway musical, in which her relation to the family in the storyline is ambiguous. In Act Two, Morticia tells Gomez that "[his] mother came to our home and now she's here forever" to which he replies "Wait, I thought she was your mother!", referencing Grandmama's ever changing relation to the family in the franchise. Morticia later says that Grandmama "may not even be part of this family".

For the Hall, Blossom Rock will be the official portrait of Grandmama Addams.  And all of those movies and animated series in which the Grandmama depicted was a Frump and not an Addams, they are not included in the roster.  (Save for the Broadway version, because it remains a riddle as to which side of the family she was from.)

The fact that I’m not including Grandmama/Granny Frump does not invalidate the Scooby-Doo movie, nor the 1970s animated series, both of which used other original actors from the first TV series.  It’s just that Granny Frump [Janet Waldo] was visiting/living with them at the time.  (Grandmama Addams may have been dead.)

Welcome to the Hall, Grandmama Addams!  No matter which dimension you’re from, you do you.

And in keeping with showcasing Grandmama for December....

Tuesday, November 30, 2021


We started off November with the induction of President Joe Biden into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame and we have another member to revisit as we close out the month.

All year long we’ve been paying tribute to ‘The Addams Family’, one of the true multiversal powerhouses.  They began as Charles Addams’ single-panel comic strip and branched out to other worlds – in television, on at least four different Toobworlds, (another coming soon), in the movies (two different dimensions of the Cineverse,) and on stage.

For November, we’re NOT inducting the Pater Familias, as he was already inducted in June, 2019.  But it still needs to be fleshed out for….


November is traditionally the month for newsmakers and newscasters, and I figured it was the best month for a return visit with Gomez, based on the episode, “Gomez the Politician’:

From the IMDb:
Election Day is nearing, and Gomez is getting very excited. He puts up all his old campaign posters; notably, all of Gomez's favorite candidates were losers. Sam Hilliard is running for city council, and Gomez throws his support behind the man. Hilliard is eager to get his hands on Gomez's campaign contributions. However, Gomez declares that he'd like to see the money spent in certain ways. After hearing some of the Addams' suggestions, Hilliard wishes they would stay away from his campaign altogether.

From Wikipedia:
Gomez Addams is the patriarch of the fictional Addams Family, created by cartoonist Charles Addams for The New Yorker magazine in the 1930s, and subsequently portrayed on television, in film and on the stage.

In the Charles Addams cartoons, Gomez—as with all of the members of the family—had no given name. When The Addams Family television series was being developed, Charles Addams suggested naming the character either Repelli or Gomez. Addams left the final choice up to portrayer John Astin, who chose Gomez.

Because "Gómez" is usually recognized as a family name in Hispanic America the character's name was changed to "Homero" ("Homer"). In Spain, he is called Gomez.

Like the other members of the family, Gomez's personality became largely codified by the television series. He is depicted as being of Castilian extraction and Spanish ancestry, which was first brought up in "Art and the Addams Family" on December 18, 1964.

John Astin had long sessions with Addams and series producer David Levy, who gave him free rein in developing the character. Enlarging on Addams' description of Gomez as a Latin lover type, Astin suggested the eye-rolling, pencil moustache, and ardent devotion to Morticia.

Gomez is an athletic, acrobatic, and eccentric multi-billionaire. Though an extremely successful businessman, having acquired much of his wealth through inheritance and investments, he has little regard for money and will casually spend thousands of dollars on any whimsical endeavor.

Gomez's investments are guided more by whimsy than strategy, yet luck rarely fails him. Gomez owns businesses around the world, including a swamp, bought for "scenic value", and a crocodile farm, a buzzard farm, salt mine, a tombstone factory, a uranium mine, and many others. In Forbes 2007 "Fictional 15" list of the richest fictional characters, he was ranked #12 with a net worth of US$2 billion.

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 is quite proud his law class voted him "Least Likely to Succeed"; 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.

Now, those in Team Toobworld who have good memories might remember that back in June of 2019 Gomez was already inducted into the Hall when he was under the delusion that he was the Riddler in ‘Batman’.

From the IMDb:
‘The Addams Family’
“Amnesia In The Addams Family”
An accident with his new set of old Indian clubs gives Gomez amnesia and a complete shift in aesthetics. It, unfortunately, coincides with the new million dollar double indemnity insurance policy he's just drawn up to benefit Morticia, causing the amnesic Gomez - aghast at his macabre home and family - to think his life's in jeopardy. A second blow on the head might return him to normal. Unfortunately for Gomez there are plenty of clubs with just as many loving family members skulking about, keen to restore his sanity.

Here’s how I wrote it up back then:

That episode took place on the Toobworld timeline in 1965.  Astin appeared as the Riddler in 1967.  But one doesn't have to lead into another.  The 'Addams Family' episode just needed to establish that his personality changes when he gets knocked on the head.  So at some point two years later, Gomez must have been knocked on the head yet again (not necessarily with Indian clubs) and this time clobbered in such a way as to give him not only the amnesia but a new personality... one of EVIL!!!!

Think of it - Gomez escapes the Addams domicile and somehow finds his way to Gotham City and discovers where Lew Rydell kept his storehouse of Riddler paraphernalia.  And he decides to take on the persona of the Riddler while Rydell is once again incarcerated in Gotham State Prison (or the Arkham Asylum.)

How did he do that?  Maybe he saw a blue police box on the sidewalk and wandered inside and it took off before its pilot, the Doctor, noticed he was on board.  The TARDIS always delivers the Time Lord where he needs to be, not always where he wants to be.  So the TARDIS knew it was important to go to the Riddler's hideout.  (There had to be at least one room where Gomez felt at home.)

Why?  If for no other reason than for the Doctor to replenish his wardrobe with the Riddler's clothes, all of which featured a question mark in some way (including the umbrella with a question mark handle which had been a gift from P.N. Gwynne.)

Eventually the Riddler 2.0 was caught by the Dynamic Duo and sent off to Arkham Asylum where he received another knock on the head and so became Gomez Addams once again.

So the TVXOHOF only focused on that one aspect of Gomez for his 2019 induction.  This is serving as the additional background for his history.

  • In the 1960s American television series, Gomez was portrayed by John Astin.
  • He also has ‘The Addams Family Halloween Reunion’ in his tally.
  • Astin also voiced the character in an episode of ‘The New Scooby-Doo Movies’ which featured the family.
  • In the second animated series, also by Hanna-Barbera, Gomez's voice was again performed by John Astin.
  • And then there is my own canon-worthy theory that the second Riddler in ‘Batman’ was Gomez Addams.

As I said, Gomez Addams has been a member in good standing for two years now.  But with today's post, we have burnished the legend.

Welcome to the Hall, Gomez!