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Who Wrote and Sang the ‘Spooky’ Theme Song for ‘The Addams Family’

Cartoonist Charles Addams’ creepy cartoons of a macabre family, The Addams Family, which he first drew as a freelancer for The New Yorker in 1938, became a hit over time. His humorous and spooky family of fiends would later get adapted into a popular television series in the 1960s starring John Astin as Gomez Addams, Carolyn Jones as his wife, Morticia, Lisa Loring as their daughter Wednesday, and Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester, along with more ghoulish characters. The show needed a theme song that would reflect all the eerie shenanigans and comedic side of The Addams Family.

By the time the show premiered in 1964, the theme song for The Addams Family was already written and arranged by Brooklyn, New York-born TV and film composer Victor Mizzy. He already had the iconic melody in his head, complete with harpsichord, percussion, and two-finger snaps. “You’ve got the harpsichord, which lends this antique, sort of macabre quality to the theme,” said Jon Burlingame, author of the 1996 book TV’s Biggest Hits: The Story of Television Themes From ‘Dragnet’ to ‘Friends. “But then you add the lyrics, which make it funny. So you have the perfect combination of macabre and amusing. It was just right for that show’s sensibility.”

And then came the lyrics. Knowing the theme of the show, Mizzy wrote lyrics that were funny and slightly spine-tingling. He even sang the theme song himself and overdubbed it three times to give the impression of multiple vocalists since the production studio, Filmways, didn’t want to pay for singers.


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