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 WQ 137: Altogether Ooky
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2004 :  06:10:38  Show Profile
There are some interesting interconnections between The Wild Wild West and another cult favourite of the same era, The Addams Family (ABC, 1964-66). How many of the following can you make?

1. Name two writers for The Addams Family who also scripted episodes of West.

2. Which actor on The Addams Family sadly went to his grave resenting which recurring guest star on The Wild Wild West? And why?

3. Which performer on The Addams Family also appeared in a little-known sit-com of the early 60s, I'm ****ens—He's Fenster? What guest starring role did he later play on The Wild Wild West?

4. It's not generally known that Carolyn Jones was not the Addams' producers initial choice to play Morticia. Their first choice was later a recurring guest star on The Wild Wild West. Who was she—and why didn't she get the Addams starring role?

5. Jackie Coogan ("The Night of the Cut-Throats," "The Night of the Winged Terror") is better know for his role as Uncle Fester on The Addams Family. Another actor, a one-time guest star on West, also tested for that part, which finally went to Coogan. Who was he?

Da-da-da-dum (click, click).

couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2004 :  07:42:38  Show Profile
1. Name two writers for The Addams Family who also scripted episodes of West. Preston Wood,

2. Which actor on The Addams Family sadly went to his grave resenting which recurring guest star on The Wild Wild West? And why? I would guess Ted Cassidy didn't care for Richard Keil I believe they would be condiderd for the same type of role Which maybe Keil got(Bond) and Caddidy didn't?

3. Which performer on The Addams Family also appeared in a little-known sit-com of the early 60s, I'm ****ens—He's Fenster? What guest starring role did he later play on The Wild Wild West?John Astin Count Nikolai Sazanov Tartar

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K Mills
SS novice field agent

849 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2004 :  05:46:12  Show Profile
I guess I'm not the only one with absolutely nothing to contribute to this quiz. I have always been a big fan of John Astin. He's a hoot.
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2004 :  06:32:04  Show Profile
I guess I'm not the only one with absolutely nothing to contribute to this quiz.

You guys throw in the towel too fast. If Trivial Pursuit doesn't interest you, let's play Casting Agent. Say you are David Levy, the executive who sold Addams to ABC (and to John Astin and Charles Addams, not insignificantly). Say, further, that you have to cast the roles of Morticia and Fester.

The lady must be of at least average hieght (though the taller the better), beautiful, a nice figure, with aristocratic bearing and voice to match.

The man must be on the short and stocky side, completely bald (or willing to be so): a little weird looking, which will be made weirder with make-up and costume.

If you had performers from among West's guest stars to select, whom would you cast for those roles?

As to writers for the series, you obviously need someone who can script with a sense of humor.

Whom would you hire?
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K Mills
SS novice field agent

849 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2004 :  09:51:42  Show Profile
Um, let's see. I'm not so good with chicks, but that woman from Poisonous Posey might fill the bill, and Lou Grant definitely for the man. Writer? John Knuebuel.
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Elaine
SS 1st assignment - desk job

356 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2004 :  16:58:51  Show Profile
All right, I'll take a stab at this, given the hints.

The man: Theo Marcuse. Already bald and has something of a wild eyed look about him when necessary. (I considered Victor Buono, but he's too tall.)

The woman: The list of reoccuring women in WWW is short. I eliminated Phoebe Dorn immediately because of her height, although I don't recall Carolyn Jones as being so very tall.
That leaves us with: Leslie Parris, Sigrid Valdis, Lana Wood, Diane McBain, and Kathie Brown. Given that she was quite popular in 60's TV with all the requirements listed by ccb, I guess Diane McBain.


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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2004 :  17:02:14  Show Profile



As to writers for the series, you obviously need someone who can script with a sense of humor.


This brings to mind Legion of Death written by Denni and Barret

I am totally confused.
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2004 :  18:50:13  Show Profile
Elaine: I don't recall Carolyn Jones as being so very tall.

She wasn't. She was a head shorter than John Astin (the reverse of their cartoon counterparts). In another departure from the original Addams drawings, Ms. Jones also had a rounder face.

So why was she selected for the role? Executive producer David Levy, who developed the characters and the show's format for television, explains:

"Doug Cramer [at that time a network executive] came to me and suggested the possibility of Carolyn Jones and that ABC would like to have a star name on the show if possible. I was reluctant because I had spent a lot of time casting the role of Morticia"—interviewing many actresses who looked much like the Addams version, very trim and elegant—"and I was happy with ____________, a very fine actress."

In another casting quirk, John Astin later reported that, when first interviewed by the suits at Filmways (the production studio), he was approached for the role of Lurch. I am not making this up. "[They] said basically, 'We want to build the series around the butler. We want you to play the butler. We'll give you a nonexclusive contract.'" Levy saw the show differently, and his vision prevailed. According to Astin, "He was really interested in my playing the father in the series. He said he really saw the show as Father Knows Best with different people. The idea was interesting, and we began to discuss the possibilities with this character." They did, and John Astin signed his nonexclusive contract.

Now then, where were we?

So far, collectively, you've all scored one correct and two half-correct answers. And I've turned up yet a third writer who wrote scripts for both Addams and West. So on with the quiz, creepy and kooky.
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couldron
SS novice field agent

1438 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2004 :  21:43:16  Show Profile
The closest we ever got to a comedy episode was Human Trigger written by Norman Katlov.

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lleroy
SS 1st assignment - desk job

USA
261 Posts

Posted - 05/05/2004 :  15:32:19  Show Profile
Toian Matchinga made three appearances on W3, but I don't know about the aristocratic bearing and voice. I'm assuming that a recurring guest star wouldn't have to be the same character each time, as I think that would rule out every woman except Phoebe Dorin and Sigrid Valdis. And how many times would someone have to appear to be considered a recurring guest star? Would two times do it, or would it take three? See, I'm no help.

Leslie
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3799 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2004 :  04:11:45  Show Profile
Couldron—what a great name for last weekend's quiz—claimed to be totally confused, but she hurled the well enough to bring down another Anabella. (Sorry—I've nothing agaist the birds; I'm just in the Addams spirit. As Gomez might have said, "Why else would a grown man play with pigeons?") My thnks to all the rest of you who played, blinked curiously, and gave it your best shot.

Mary nailed Question #3, of course, and large chuncks of ## 1 and 2. Ted Cassidy ("Lurch") did harbor a grudge towards Richard Kiel, because, as Cassidy once said rather unkindly of Kiel's performances, "If that's acting, I'm a bricklayer." Cassidy claimed to be so frsutarted with being confused with Kiel, whom he didn't accept as an actor, that "he was ready to get out of the business," which his death at 46 allowed him to do. For his part, Kiel (at this writing, still alive) has suffered similar frustrations from crazed fans who routinely insist (1) that he played Lurch to perfection and (2) that he had died. Why am I reminded of the H. L. Mencken wisecrack that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people?

Addams/West teleplaywrights: Preston Wood, Arthus Weingarten ("The Night of the Circus of Death"), and, most frequently, Henry Sharp.

Before the role of Fester went to a delighted Jackie Coogan, T. C. Jones (AKA Miss Tyler, "The Night of the Running Death") had tested for it. Weird, I'm sure he was, but I guess not funny enough.

Finally: David Levy's first choice to play Morticia—

from "The Nights of the Read-Eyed Madman, "The Bottomless Pit," and "The Circus of Death"—

Joan Huntington.

Time to put little Wednesday and Pugsley to bed. In their cages.
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