Cousin Itt

What's Itt all about..?
Man of mystery, gibbering eccentric, 1960s hippie metaphor....who or more to the point, what, is Cousin Itt? (yes, there's two 't's, though one seems more appropriate)

Cousin Itt
I am of course talking about that hirsuit, linguistically challenged short-arse who made regular, memorable appearances on '60s TV show The Addams Family.

Like Thing, the extraordinary but helpful solitary hand that lived in a box, Cousin Itt was an oddball concept, impossibly absurd, yet he nonetheless managed to seriously intrigue 1960s TV viewers.

Freudians may argue that the hairy but hip and groovy Itt represented the wild untamed id, the primitive libido - something strangely sexual (but we won't go there). Others claim Itt symbolised the 60s counter-culture and the anti-establishment winds of change that were sweeping the era.

Itt was created by cartoonist Charles Addams and producer/NBC executive  David Levy and first appeared in the former's New Yorker cartoons. The character was played by Felix Silla and a variety of actors during the run of the series, while his voice was concocted by producer Nat Perrin talking gibberish into a tape recorder which was then played played back at high speed.

Cousin Itt on a family visit
Itts Personality
Cousin to Gomez, Itt is a swinging party animal, popular with the opposite sex but too free-wheeling to settle down with one woman -at one point he had a fling with Ophelia, Morticia's skittish sister but it went nowhere. Itt is vain - he cares about and is proud of his appearance but refuses to bathe in case his hair shrinks.

Yet Itt has his sensible side and the Addams's look to him for advice. In fact he has an IQ of 300 and can act, sing, dance and dabbles in marriage counselling. To the Addams family, there is nothing weird about Itt at all. Nor do they appear to have any difficulty understanding his unusual, garbled and high-pitched language. So well thought of is Cousin Itt in the Addams house, he has his own specially designed, to-scale room, to accommodate his short stature.

Sartorially, Itt has his own style, which involves hair and a derby hat - he also manages to conceal every exposed human feature by wearing dark glasses and gloves. He seems always to be incognito.  Cousin Itt's car is one out of the box - a three-wheeled Messerschmitt KR175 bubble car. What a guy.

Itts Legacy
Cousin Itt is still used as a descriptive term for anything excessively hairy. A recent media article about a Malaysian girl who suffers from hypertrichosis (excess hair) was described in the heading as a 'real life Cousin It'. It seems Itt has left his mark on popular culture.