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.”
Reusing an Old Name
When the Addams family first appeared in the pages of “The New Yorker,” none of the family members had any names. And they continued to not have any names, amazingly, for almost thirty years until the television show was in development. Charles Addams suggested Repelli for the father and Pubert for the son.
Repelli didn't make the cut because the final decision was up to John Astin, but Pubert was denied because it sounded too dirty. And you know what? They're right; it does sound dirty. Still, the name got used in the nineties for the third Addams child, who sports a small mustache. It still sounds dirty, but less so than it would have back then.
Kept Out of the Soundtrack
None other than Michael Jackson was contracted to write a song for the “Addams Family Values” in 1993, but a few different things kept him out of the finished product. He did write and record the song “It Is Scary,” but contract issues, as well as some hem-hem allegations at the time, eventually got the producers to drop the song.
There was going to be a video to accompany a song, but that never even got made. However, the song eventually made it onto Jackson's 1997 album “Blood on the Dance Floor: History in the Mix,” as well as in his 1996 movie “Ghosts.”
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?
Well, We're Sure He's Part of the Family
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.