Thing (The Addams Family)

Thing T. Thing, referred to as just Thing, is a fictional hand in the The Addams Family. Thing takes the form of a disembodied hand who performs various useful functions for the family. In Spanish-speaking Latin America he's called "Dedos" ("Fingers") while In Brazil he's called "Mãozinha" ("Little Hand").

Appearances

Thing was the creation of Charles Addams, who drew the Addams Family cartoons in "The New Yorker" magazine beginning in the 1930s. He first appeared in Addams's 1954 book "Homebodies". One of Addams's cartoons shows the Addams mansion with a sign at the front saying "Beware of the Thing." Additionally, Thing has been in the original television series (1964-66), the revived series "The New Addams Family" (1998), and in the related movies "The Addams Family" (1991), "Addams Family Values" (1993) and "Addams Family Reunion" (1998) . In the Spanish language version, Thing is called "Dedos" (literally "Fingers"). Thing, as a mobile, fully functioning severed hand or forearm, is taken from the legend of the Hand of Glory. The hand of glory, taken from a hanged prisoner or from the "hand that did the deed" of a killer, is said to have the power to render people immobile, provide light to a candle and could pick/unlock any locked door it was presented with.

In the 1960s television series, Thing—strictly speaking, a disembodied forearm, since he occasionally emerged from his box at near-elbow length—was usually played by Ted Cassidy, who also played the lugubrious butler Lurch, although the two characters occasionally appeared in the same scene (in which case Thing would be played by a crew member). Thing customarily emerges from a series of boxes, one in each room in the Addams' mansion, although he occasionally emerged from behind a curtain, within a plant pot, or elsewhere. In the films, thanks to advances in special effects, Thing (played by Christopher Hart) is able to emerge and run on his fingertips, much like a spider. This is also true for the 1998 revived series, "The New Addams Family", where Thing was played by Steven Fox.

Since Cassidy was 6' 9" ( 2,06 m ) tall, using him to depict Thing caused great technical difficulties on the set of "The Addams Family". In many scenes he lay on his back on a wheeled trolley, below the line of sight of the cameras, and inserted his arm through the bottom of the box. Thing was usually a right hand, but Cassidy sometimes played him as left, simply to see if anyone would notice. Thing is credited as "itself" at the end of each episode.

Role in the series

Among Thing's many useful roles are fetching the mail, handing cigars to Gomez Addams and then lighting them, changing the channel on the Addams TV set, holding Morticia Addams's wool while she knits, and turning over records on the phonograph (particularly when Gomez and Morticia dance the tango). He accompanies the family on drives by riding in the glove compartment, and in one episode, where Gomez appears in court, he emerged from Gomez's briefcase. Thing and Grandmama are fond of arm-wrestling. In a flashback episode on how Gomez and Morticia met, it is revealed that Thing has been with the Addams family since Gomez himself was a child, suggesting Thing is the son of an earlier generation of hand-servants (see below).

Morticia is always very appreciative of Thing's services, and her frequent "Why "thank" you, Thing" is one of the best known lines of the series. Thing cannot talk, but he does sometimes snap his fingers to attract attention, and is also able to communicate by signaling in Morse code, writing, or with the help of the manual alphabet. This can be very disconcerting to visitors to the Addams' mansion; in a running gag in some episodes, a visitor to the Addams home, profusely grateful for some kindness of the Addamses', enthusiastically shakes hands with everyone present---"Thank you, Mr. Addams! Thank you, Mrs. Addams!"---and is then offered a handshake by Thing. "And thank "you"---" begins the visitor, before realizing who and what he has been confronted with, recoiling in inarticulate shock, and fleeing the premises.

In one episode, Morticia gets goosed, and initially suspects Thing, who had been nearby moments earlier. However, Gomez immediately appears and admits responsibility, explaining: "Thing just likes to hold hands."

Other hands

On the 1960s TV series, two similar hands were introduced in the episode "Morticia Meets Royalty":

* Lady Fingers: a female "handmaiden" who was the servant of Cousin Millie, also known as Princess Millicent von Schlepp. When Millicent came to visit, Thing and Lady Fingers fell in love. Lady Fingers later returned in the 1977 Addams Family Halloween special and the 1998 series revival.
* Esmerelda: another female hand hired by Millicent after firing Lady Fingers. Esmerelda turned out to be dishonest, and Millicent rehires Lady Fingers.

In the episode "Thing Is Missing," Gomez and Morticia find a portrait of Thing's parents, a male hand and a female hand. The 1990s revived series implied the existence of other hands as well.

Appearances in popular culture

Thing's influence on popular culture is expressed by his being referred to on several TV shows.

*On The Prisoner episode, "The General", accessing the Village broadcast studios required a token to be inserted into a Thing money box. This was a toy bank from which a "Thing" hand emerged to snatch coins which were placed in a slot at the front. This item was reportedlyFact|date=July 2008 included at the request of Patrick McGoohan.

*On "Good Eats", Alton Brown is often provided with ingredients and equipment by an unseen assistant's hand, to which he often replies, "Thank you, Thing." During the behind-the-scenes episode, Brown reveals that the hand is apparently the original Thing's son (according to Brown, the original Thing died because of an addiction to "finger food"). Thing, Jr., also has his very own bachelor pad in the prop storage room.

*A short in an episode of Robot Chicken has Thing leaving the Addams' house and getting a job in the modern world. Throughout the course of the short he gets a job in an office, meets a woman, sexually gratifies her, breaks up with her, and fails at attempting suicide before being introduced to a female hand (named "Amajig") and getting married.

External links

* [http://www.tvacres.com/creatures_thing.htm Article at TV ACRES]
* [http://www.addamsfamily.com/detail.html Unofficial episode guide to the 1960s series]
* [http://www.lkessler.com/addshows.shtml Unofficial episode gude to the revived series]


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