Sunday, May 12, 2013

Nostalgia Theater: My Mother the Car's Day

After last week's piece on Knight Rider, I thought I'd celebrate Mother's Day by looking back at another show about a talking car -- one with a premise so perplexing and nonsensical that you start wondering what strain of what controlled substance was being partaken of when it was conceived (and where you might find some). My Mother the Car is a short-lived sitcom that aired on NBC from 1965 to 1966. In case you're wondering what it's about (if the title doesn't give it away, that is), watch the opening credits below and see if they don't fill in the blanks:

Everyone got that? Guy's mother dies. Guy finds mother in a used car lot, reincarnated as a 1928 Porter. That's it. That's the show. Someone dreamed up the idea, typed up a proposal, pitched it to a network, got it approved, hired a crew, and worked diligently to get My Mother the Car to air. Network execs set aside primetime real estate to make sure My Mother the Car was on their fall lineup. Jerry Van Dyke, starring as put-upon son Dave Crabtree, went around the country promoting his leading role in My Mother the Car. That. All. Happened.

The show has rightly been lambasted in years since as one of the worst series of all time (TV Guide put it second only to Jerry Springer in their '02 listing of the cream of the crap), but bear in mind that the creatives still squeezed 30 episodes out of the premise before NBC sent Mother to the scrap yard. 30! While it isn't available on DVD (and, really, we should be extremely grateful for that), the folks at MGM, who hold the rights to the show, have made it available for viewing via Hulu. I've embedded episode one below so you can check it out for yourself. Happy Mother's Day!

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