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
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 Code.
"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.
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 Addams family.
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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