An intelligent and very alive disembodied right hand who is the
faithful servant of the eccentric millionaire Gomez Addams (John
Astin) and his family on the bizarre sitcom THE ADDAMS
FAMILY/ABC/1964-66. In a humorous take-off of the sci-fi movie The
Crawling Hand (1963), the series scriptwriters introduced this
one-handed creepy crawler whose household responsibilities
included delivering the family mail, answering the telephone (from
his gold, nail-studded box), lighting Gomez's cigars and
sympathetically patting family members with his five fingers when
they were depressed.
Thing (Gomez's childhood companion) moved about the Addams'
bizarre home via a labyrinth of tunnels which lead to the mail
box, a hidden wall vault and to a myriad of small hinged-topped
wooden boxes strategically placed about their bizarre gothic home.
Conversation with Thing was limited, to be sure, but when hand
gestures were not enough, Thing tapped out his messages with Morse
"Beware the Thing" was posted on the iron gate in front of the
Addams house at 001 Cemetery Lane. When the Addams went for a
drive in the car, Thing rode in the glove compartment.
Thing's sweetheart was Lady Finger, a female disembodied
"handmaiden" who belonged to Princess Millicent (Elvia Allman) a
distant cousin of the Addams who lived in England.
Both Jack Vogelin and Ted Cassidy (who played Lurch, the Addams'
towering, zombie butler) were given credit for playing the digital
domestic pet. Assistant director Jack Vogelin was a "hand-in" when
Ted Cassidy was to be in the same scene as Thing.
According to an interview with Joel Eisner in Starlog magazine Ted
Cassidy stated "I played the Thing. I always have. In fact, I did
Thing in the reunion (HALLOWEEN WITH THE NEW ADDAMS FAMILY) but it
was never publicized."
Episode No. 23 "Thing is Missing" (3-5-65) found Gomez hiring a
private investigator to search for Thing.
In 1991, Thing reappeared in The Addams Family: The Movie starring
Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston. In the motion picture version,
Thing was free to roam around the house without the confinement of
a box. Actor-magician Christopher Hart who played thing commented
"I'm going to have the most famous hand in the business. Maybe it
will lead to a watch or jewelry commercial or something."
Speculating on Thing's marketability, he said "We'd only be able
to sell it at the Pleasure Chest." (US Magazine 8/91 No. 160/161).
The radio controlled robotic version of Thing used in the movie
was designed by special effects man, Alan Munro.
Thing has been merchandised in a number of ways including a model
toy by Poynter Products; a commercial spokeshand in a series of
1970s commercials for Bell Telephone Yellow Pages advertising the
slogan "Let your fingers do the walking," and playing a Sunsoft
video game in a commercial for "Fester's Quest" during the
Christmas of 1989.
Thing first appeared in the 1954 book of cartoons by Charles
Samuel Addams entitled "Homebodies," where Thing was seen changing
records on a Victrola.
In the fall of 1998 the revival series THE NEW ADDAMS FAMILY on
the Fox Family channel continued the adventures of Thing and the
TRIVIA NOTE: In 1993, one of the original boxes used by Thing in
the series was auctioned off at Sotherby's for $22,000.
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