His Name Is Vic Mizzy

As I write, it’s 4:30pm on Friday April 9 in New York, and The Addams Family musical has been getting some pretty bad reviews. Previews already revealed that the show’s producers paid for the rights to the famous opening music (major tetrachord, snap snap), and everyone has agreed that this is a good idea. Certainly kinder than asking Andrew Lippa, the show’s composer/lyricist, to come up with something original, which would defeat the purpose of the entire retreading exercise.

Thanks to the glories of the internet, I’ve been reading reviews all morning, and waiting for someone to mention Vic Mizzy, who wrote those four notes and two finger clicks. Ben Brantley’s review, in the New York Times, is titled “Buh-Da-Da-Dum (Snap Snap)”, and is careful to attribute the plotline (conservative parents of new boyfriend coming over, daughter begs wacky family to be normal for one night) not to La Cage Aux Folles, as everyone else has done, but to Kaufman and Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You. But no mention of Mizzy.

Terry Teachout quotes the theme in the Wall Street Journal – (“ba-da-da-DUMP (snap, snap)”) – and is highly critical of Lippa’s score. No Mizzy.

Many, many sub-editors (do they still exist?) have, with startling originality, used the words “ooky”, “kooky”, and “mysterious and spooky”. No mention of Mizzy.

Surely a tabloid rag like the New York Post would follow the crowd? Yeah, typical, there’s “ooky” in the headline, and I bet – oh, would you look at that? There he is, Vic Mizzy, final paragraph. Nice one, Elisabeth Vincentelli.

Here, then, is Vic Mizzy, on the set of Green Acres, for which he also wrote the theme:

He did Petticoat Junction too. The guy knew catchy.

A charmingly old-school official website here. And an online bio here.

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One thought on “His Name Is Vic Mizzy

  1. Up until 2001, I thought I was the only guy who knew who Vic Mizzy was. I had been a fan of his since I first heard the music on The Addams Family in 1964. Growing up, I had to be happy with getting his music straight off of the TV and movie soundtracks. My friends thought I was nuts. I thought so too, after a while. The music was so beautiful. The way he could reach into your very being. I was so surprised, when back in 2001. I did a search on Yahoo and I found VicMizzy.com.
    When Vic Mizzy died in 2009, I thought, at least I had my answers as to who the man was behind the music. As your marker says, “The Whole World Is Singing My Song”. Two years later, I miss you Mister Mizzy.

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