Many of the countries that have aired the Addams Family have their own name for Cousin Itt since the word makes no sense when not translated. This includes Spanish-speaking Latin American countries that call him Tio Cosa (Uncle Thing). In French, he’s referred to as Cousin Manchin, which means Cousin Thing.
In Poland, he’s known as Kuzyn Coś, which means Cousin Something, and in Hungarian, his name is Hogyishívják Kuzin, which more or less stands for Cousin Whatshisname. The fact that these different languages could find their own goofy names for this character is one of our favorite parts of the show getting to different countries.
Cousin Itt Was a Little Guy
If you've ever watched the television show from the sixties, you might have seen the diminutive Cousin Itt and wondered how he could have been so short. Was it creative camera angles? Did they get a child to dress up in a hair costume?
Well, it turns out that Cousin Itt was played by an Italian actor named Felix Silla, whose full height was a mere three feet, ten inches. Silla, who sometimes went as Felix Cilla, also played the robot Twiki in “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” You've also probably seen his work as an Ewok in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.”
A Hungry Bunch of Words
Like any family that can trace its lineage back through the generations, the Addams family had a Latin motto: “Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc.” It's not a perfect translation, but the meaning is more or less “We gladly feast on those who would subdue us.”
Thankfully, we never have to watch the family make good on this threat. Still, thinking about all the other strange things they get up to, we wonder if anybody has fallen prey to a family that would use this as their motto. Morticia does have a bit of a vampiric look to her, and who knows what Cousin Itt likes to eat?
John Astin Got to Pick His Character's Name
John Astin loved playing Gomez, and it might, in part, have been because he got to pick the name himself. The two options the producers gave him were Repelli or Gomez, and he chose the latter. Why, you might ask? Well, Morticia and Gomez had a very loving, affectionate, and even romantic relationship, which was a different take at the time.
Astin simply thought that Gomez sounded more romantic than Repelli. He thought it sounded better when said in the same breath as Morticia. It's hard for us not to agree, mostly because now the names Morticia and Gomez are inexorably knotted together.
Playing Another Member of the Family
John Astin seemed to really enjoy playing his character Gomez Addams. That's what we take from all the stories here and elsewhere, but that's not all. He enjoyed playing it so much that he made an appearance thirty years after the first television show, but it wasn't Gomez. Instead, it was Gomez's father, Grandpapa Addams.
This appearance came as part of “The New Addams Family,” which ran for sixty-five episodes starting in 1998. In addition, Astin provided the voice for a number of animated versions of his famous character. Well, when you like your job, you never work a day in your life, that's what they say.