"Child of woe is wan and delicate...sensitive and on the quiet side, she loves the picnics and outings to the underground caverns...loves the color black...a solemn child, prim in dress and, on the whole, pretty lost...secretive and imaginative, poetic, seems underprivileged and given to occasional tantrums...has six toes on one foot..."
Wednesday Friday Addams is a fictional character created by American cartoonist Charles Addams in his comic strip The Addams Family. The character has also appeared in television and film, in both the live action and animated formats.
In Addams' cartoons, which first appeared in The New Yorker, Wednesday and other members of the family had no names. When the characters were adapted to the 1964 television series, Charles Addams gave her the name "Wednesday", based on the well-known nursery rhyme line, "Wednesday's child is full of woe." She is the sister of Pugsley, Pugsley Jr., Wednesday Jr., and Pubert, and is the oldest daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams.
Appearance and personality
In Addams' cartoons, Wednesday is originally a pale, dark-haired, grim-looking little girl who is fascinated with death and the macabre. She seldom smiles.
In the 1960s series, she is significantly more sweet-natured, although her favorite hobby is raising spiders; she is also a ballerina. Wednesday's favorite toy is her Marie Antoinette doll, which her brother guillotines (at her request). She is stated to be six years old in the television series' pilot episode. In one episode, she is shown to have several other headless dolls as well. She also paints pictures (including a picture of trees with human heads) and writes a poem dedicated to her favorite pet spider, Homer. Wednesday is deceptively strong; she is able to bring her father down with a judo hold.
In the 1991 film, she is depicted closer to the original cartoons. She shows sadistic tendencies and a dark personality, and is revealed to have a deep interest in the Bermuda Triangle and an admiration for an ancestor (Great Aunt Calpurnia Addams) who was burned as a witch in 1706. In the 1993 sequel she was even darker: buried alive a cat, tried to kill her brother Pubert, destroyed Camp Chipewa and (presumably) scared her boyfriend Joel to death .
Wednesday has a close kinship with the family's giant butler Lurch. In the TV series, her middle name is "Friday". In the Spanish-language version, her name is Miércoles Addams (Spain [Wednesday in Spanish]) or Merlina Addams (Latin America). In the Brazilian version her name is Wandinha (Little Wanda in Portuguese) and in Italy her name is Mercoledì (Wednesday in Italian).
In the animated series and Canadian TV series The New Addams Family from the 1990s, Wednesday retains her appearance and her taste for darkness and torture.
In the Broadway musical The Addams Family: A New Musical, she is 18 years old and has short hair rather than the long braids in her other appearances. Her darkness and sociopathic traits have been toned down, and she is in love with (and revealed to be engaged to) Lucas Beineke.
Over the years, Wednesday has been portrayed by a variety of actresses, on television, the movies, and stage:
- Lisa Loring (Live-action TV 1964–1966, 1977)
- Cindy Henderson (Animated TV 1972–1974)
- Christina Ricci (Live-action movies 1991, 1993)
- Debi Derryberry (Animated TV 1992–1994)
- Nicole Fugere (Live-action movie 1998, Live-action TV 1998–1999)
- Krysta Rodriguez (Broadway musical 2010)
- Rachel Potter (Broadway musical 2011)
- Cortney Wolfson (2011 First National Broadway Tour)
- Laura Lobo (2012 First Brazilian Cast)
- Frankie Lowe (2012 UK National Tour)
- Jennifer Fogarty (2013 Asian Tour)
- Gloria Aura (2014 Mexican Tour)
Wednesday is played by Lisa Loring in the original TV series. In the first animated series from Hanna-Barbera, her voice was done by Cindy Henderson. Henderson voiced that same character in an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. In the second animated series from Hanna-Barbera, she is voiced by Debi Derryberry.
- The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel Addams Family Values (1993), portray Wednesday more malevolent than her television self. Wednesday's personality is severe, with a deadpan wit and a morbid interest in trying to inflict harm upon her brothers, first Pugsley and later Pubert. In both films, she is played by Christina Ricci. In the movie Addams Family Values (1993), Wednesday is sent to a summer camp for "privileged young adults" called Camp Chippewa, where Joel Glicker (played by David Krumholtz), takes a liking to Wednesday. She refuses to participate in Gary Granger's play, a musical production of the first Thanksgiving. She, Pugsley, and Joel are locked in the "Harmony Hut" and forced to watch upbeat family films to curb their antisocial behavior. On emerging from the hut, Wednesday feigns perkiness and agrees to play the role of Pocahontas. However, during the play, she leads the other social outcasts—who have all been cast as Native Americans—in a revolt, capturing Gary, Becky, and Amanda and leaving the camp in chaos. Before she leaves, Wednesday and Joel kiss. Joel is a neurotic, allergy-ridden boy with an overbearing mother. In one scene in the film, she smiles, which ends up scaring the campers, as well as her blonde nemesis. At the end of the film, it is suggested that Wednesday, though she obviously likes Joel, purposely tries to scare him to death after he brings up the subject of marriages.
- In the 1977 television holiday-themed special, Halloween with the New Addams Family, Lisa Loring plays a grown-up Wednesday, who mostly entertains their party guests with her flute, and can hear and understand coded help messages by bound-up members of the family, and dispatch help to free them. In the time interval between the original TV series and this television movie, her parents had two more children who look just like the original Pugsley and Wednesday.
- Wednesday is portrayed by Nicole Fugere in the straight-to-video movie Addams Family Reunion and Fox Family Channel's television series The New Addams Family, which were both produced in 1998.
- In April 2010, The Addams Family: A New Musical, debuted on Broadway. Krysta Rodriguez played Wednesday. The character is now 18 years old, has "become a woman", and to that effect no longer sports her signature pigtails. The musical is based on the characters as created by Charles Addams. In March 2011, Krysta Rodriguez was replaced with Rachel Potter as Wednesday in the Broadway cast. Starting in September 2011, the production begins its First National Tour. Cortney Wolfson has been cast in the Wednesday Addams role. In the Broadway production, she was the understudy for Wednesday and performed as the Dead Bride/Ancestor.
- Bridget Marquardt, from The Girls Next Door, has named her dog Wednesday after the character.
- Musician Wednesday 13 derived his moniker from the character.
- Comedian Melissa Hunter portrayed the character in her web series Adult Wednesday Addams. It gained media attention with the third episode of Season 2 in which she punished a pair of catcallers. As of June, 2015, all episodes of this series have been removed from YouTube, Melissa Hunter stating that the videos were flagged, hinting that it was due to unlicensed use of the character.
- In the parody web series Adult Wednesday Addams, Wednesday, as played by Melissa Hunter, recovers her dark, sociopathic and sadistic nature and her long braids, connecting with the events and the depiction of the movies and the original comic-book. This Wednesday deals with being an adult after moving out of her family home.