Charles Addams: Car-toonist (Mar, 1949)

Charles Addams: Car-toonist

THE day that Charles Addams drew the strange skiing cartoon at the left he became famous. That ski sketch even became a test for insanity—if you could see nothing wrong, the keeper had a nice padded place for you. But the day for Charlie was the one a year ago when Playwright Philip Barry gave him a beat-up Mercedes-Benz. Addams repaired the wreck into the slick 117-mph, 3-mile-a gallon dreamboat above (he’s taking his beautiful wife for a speedy spin). He used the souped-up 220-hp Merk to qualify in the Watkins Glen, N. Y. road race last summer. Now he whips off two nightmare cartoons a week so he can afford to spend the rest of his time really getting out of this world—by tuning up fast cars. •

  1. Al says: March 31, 200911:11 am

    Did you notice Charles and his wife (in the Mercedes) look a lot like Gomez and Morticia from the Addams cartoons in the New Yorker?

  2. Toronto says: March 31, 20094:16 pm

    You know, if he rear mounted that spare tire, removed the fog lamps, and raised the license plate up to the bumper, he could probably raise his gas milage 16% (to 3.5 miles per gallon.)

  3. John M. Hanna says: March 31, 20095:00 pm

    I don’t see anything weird about that cartoon. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go put on my ballerina costume and divers helmet and take my three legged purple ostrich for a walk.

  4. Charlene says: April 1, 200911:33 am

    From “Here at The New Yorker” by Brendan Gill:

    “Racing came more naturally to Charlie [Addams] than to Philip [Hamburger] and me; he has always been a collector of fast cars and in his youth he used to take part in races out on Long Island. He likes both fast cars and very old ones: in the nineteen-forties, he received as a present from the playwright Philip Barry, then living in East Hampton, a 1928 Mercedes-Benz, which Ellen and Philip Barry had driven on the Riviera in the gaudy twenties (the car was sacred for having been occupied by, among others, Sara and Gerald Murphy, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Léger, and Picasso) and which eventually died, much mourned, in Charlie’s arms. Today [1975] he owns a 1926 Bugatti, a 1933 Aston-Martin, and, for purposes of ordinary transportation, a 1973 Alfa-Romeo.”

    And yes, he did base Morticia on his wife.

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.