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Image of Lurch Addams with spiderweb and black text on orange background.
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Lurch is a fictional character from The Addams Family, a cartoon that was originated by creator Charles Addams for The New Yorker in 1938. The cartoon was later turned into a television show and film series and has gone on to become a pop culture icon. The series follows the Addams, a close knit family with macabre and dark interests. Lurch is the family’s butler, known for his large, looming stature and his use of moans and grunts to communicate.
The most popularly known iteration of The Addams Family was the TV show that ran from 1964-1966. The theme song for the television show, written and produced by Vic Mizzy, is now a classic song that would go on to appear in later Addams Family productions. On the show, Lurch is played by American voice artist and actor Ted Cassidy. The family would summon Lurch with a hangman's bell pull, to which Lurch would always respond with his catchphrase “You rang?” a sound bite made famous by Cassidy in this role.
In 1965, “The Lurch” was a dance craze made popular by Cassidy’s portrayal of Lurch. In the episode “Lurch, the Teenage Idol,” Lurch becomes a pop sensation, which inspired Gary Paxton of Capitol Records to create “The Lurch.” Staring Cassidy as the lead singer, it premiered on the TV show “Shivaree!” on September 11, 1965. Cassidy performed the song two more times, once on “Shindig!” and again on an ABC Halloween Special.
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