Erin Petersen
Funny Muthas

An ode to TV moms

By - May 8th, 2011 04:00 am
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Image courtesy Mike Licht via Flickr

If television has taught me anything, it’s that when it comes to family sitcoms, moms are the more hilarious parent. TV moms are sassy, tough, wise and can dish out witticisms as easily as they can take ’em. Sure, there were those “classic,” perpetually-aproned mothers all the way into the 70s with “Eight is Enough” who always said the right thing, but I’ll take a brazen Peg Bundy over June Cleaver any day. This year for Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share a few of my all-time favorites. Feel free to add yours.

The Midwestern Moms: Tellin’ it like it is

Roseanne Conner

Say what you will about Roseanne — the show and the lady herself — she’s nasal and half the time sounds like she’s chewing her own face. But if you grew up anywhere in the tri-state area, you know a “Roseanne,” and that’s why she’s loveable. She’s the mom who usually says that wrong thing, but for the right reasons. She’ll point out your embarrassing botched haircut to everyone and force you to learn how to laugh at yourself before your ego  gets too big. Her culinary repertoire includes a variety of noodle-and-cream-soup-based dishes. If she catches you smoking underage, she’ll make you puff the entire pack in one sitting. Ten years later, you’ll get hammered on Killian’s Red together and laugh about the whole thing.

Lois Wilkerson

Lois is the type of mom who coined the “eyes in the back of your head” cliché. You don’t want to piss her off, but somehow that’s unavoidable. She’s unintentionally hilarious… but for the love of god, don’t let her catch you laughing. Also, Jane Kaczmarek’s Milwaukee roots give her character that often-imitated, never-duplicated Midwestern accent that’s especially thick when yelling. It’s so good, and slightly terrifying.

The Matriarchs

Murphy Brown

The trailblazer in a blazer.

Clair Huxtable

Don’t let her demure exterior fool you: Clair Huxtable will break you off a piece of her mind if provoked. Impeccably fly (no one did the late 80s and early 90s better), ivy league intelligent, and funny enough to match Bill Cosby. If you didn’t (or don’t) have a crush on Clair Huxtable, check your pulse.

The Original Cougars

Mona Robinson

Age ain’t nuthin’ but a number, right? No plays the “sexually progressive” WASPy Connecticut prowler better. I got two bits that says Kim Cattrall got a lot of her “Samantha”  from Mona.

Sophia Petrillo

Not your typical cougar, for sure, but Sophia did aiiiight. She’s the ma (that’s right, “ma” — not “mom”) and eventual grandma that always has Entemann’s, but no homemade cookies. She gives you cash for your birthday because she knows that’s what a 12-year-old wants (the bills will be ironed, and perfectly crisp). You’d never expect it, but she’s the type of mom with a steamy, sordid past, filled with all sorts indiscretions that she never wants you to find out about. She’s one of those moms you’ll like a lot more once you’re older… and out of her house.

Lucille Bluth

Probably only funny if she’s someone else’s mom…

The TV Mom I’ll Most Likely Resemble If I Ever Have Kids (God help us)

Linda Belcher

I, too, enjoy narrating events as they happen with song and choreographed dance moves. My boyfriend will attest to this.

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