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My Mother The Car: Coming from TGG


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#1 of 95 Bob Gu

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Posted September 24 2013 - 08:38 PM

I sent Michelle at TGG a thank you note for processing my replacement Ripcord disc so promptly and asked if she could tell me what other titles were coming from TGG.

 

She answered and said more titles were coming but only stated MY MOTHER THE CAR was coming next. No date was mentioned.

 

My Mother the Car has been the symbol of bad TV  for decades. But, how bad was it? 

 

I vaguely remember trying out a couple of episodes when it was originally on, but stuck with COMBAT! for the rest of the season.

 

I was surprised to read at IMDB that it actually lasted a full season of 30 episodes. 28 episodes are up for free viewing at IMDB via HULA.

 

My Mother the Car starred Jerry Van Dyke and Ann Southern's voice as his mother, reincarnated as a 1928 Porter. It was paired during the 1965-66 TV Season in the 7:30 to 8:30 time slot with PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES on NBC.  It was up against the 4th season of COMBAT! on ABC and the last season of RAWHIDE on CBS.

 



#2 of 95 Jack P

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Posted September 24 2013 - 09:35 PM

I remember seeing a few episodes on TV Land once.    Thoroughly dumb premise but I've seen worse sitcoms.     It's more the outlandish premise and title that I think accounts for its greater long-term notoriety.

 

Most shows back in the day generally got to play out the string if they'd had a full season's worth of episodes ordered.    One rare exception in those days that got yanked within a few weeks and which I can attest (from seeing one episode on YouTube) was even worse than "My Mother The Car" was "The Tammy Grimes Show" on ABC which even as the lead-in to "Bewitched" (which ironically Grimes had been offered first before they went to Liz Montgomery) only drew half the audience.

 

Your mentioning "Please Don't Eat The Daisies" reminds me that that sitcom theoretically *could* come to us one day from Warner Archive.    So it's possible that one day we'll have *all* the shows that aired in that timeslot for the 65-66 season (which is already the best represented year of the decade).

 

As for other titles they could do, wouldn't they be the ones to give us the final season of "Flipper"?


Edited by Jack P, September 24 2013 - 09:37 PM.


#3 of 95 Frank Soyke

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Posted September 25 2013 - 02:39 AM

I may be in the minority here, but I'm looking forward to this one. Jerry Van Dyke was very funny, as evidenced by his great guest spots on his brothers shows, as well as Coach. I'm also a big Ann Sothern fan. I have a bunch of these on VHS from the old trade trading days, and be assured, it's not nearly as bad as the legend would have you believe.

 

PS - Extra points for anyone that can point out the connection between My Mother The Car and The Mary Tyler Moore Show



#4 of 95 Justin Ray

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Posted September 25 2013 - 03:29 AM

Television writer/producer Allan Burns created My Mother the Car with fellow television producer Chris Hayward; he also wrote for the series, as did television writer (and future producer) James L. Brooks (who, I believe, landed the job through his acquaintance with Burns) .  Burns and Brooks would go on to create The Mary Tyler Moore Show together, as well as other MTM-related programs (i.e. Lou Grant & Rhoda).


Edited by Justin Ray, September 25 2013 - 03:38 AM.


#5 of 95 Frank Soyke

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Posted September 25 2013 - 04:18 AM

Television writer/producer Allan Burns created My Mother the Car with fellow television producer Chris Hayward; he also wrote for the series, as did television writer (and future producer) James L. Brooks (who, I believe, landed the job through his acquaintance with Burns) .  Burns and Brooks would go on to create The Mary Tyler Moore Show together, as well as other MTM-related programs (i.e. Lou Grant & Rhoda).

I actually had something else in mind, but you bested me by coming up with even a better connection. :)



#6 of 95 Justin Ray

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Posted September 25 2013 - 04:51 AM

I actually had something else in mind, but you bested me by coming up with even a better connection. :)

Wasn't My Mother the Car a popular part of the WJM schedule boards throughout MTM's run?  A great gag on Burns/Brooks former collarboration, no doubt!  HA-- if I remember correctly, one of the station managers of WJM rearranged the station's schedule so he could watch My Mother the Car while he ate his dinner.  OH!  And Jerry Van Dyke, star of My Mother the Car, appeared on MTM as Wes Callison, another man who Mary turned on with her smile.  


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#7 of 95 Ron1973

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Posted September 25 2013 - 06:14 AM

I noticed it on Hulu and keep intending to watch it. Sounds like I may have to do some viewing here pretty soon!


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#8 of 95 maskedmala

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Posted September 25 2013 - 06:25 AM

Great news! Hopefully it will be released before the end of the year

#9 of 95 Frank Soyke

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Posted September 25 2013 - 07:26 AM

Wasn't My Mother the Car a popular part of the WJM schedule boards throughout MTM's run?  A great gag on Burns/Brooks former collarboration, no doubt!  HA-- if I remember correctly, one of the station managers of WJM rearranged the station's schedule so he could watch My Mother the Car while he ate his dinner.  OH!  And Jerry Van Dyke, star of My Mother the Car, appeared on MTM as Wes Callison, another man who Mary turned on with her smile.  

Yep. Great job



#10 of 95 Neil Brock

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Posted September 25 2013 - 08:45 AM

While it may have been the most outlandish concept of all time, it certainly wasn't the worst show. As someone already stated, The Tammy Grimes Show was much worse as was Ugiliest Girl In Town. If you want to go more modern, The Munsters Today or The New Munsters or whatever it was called was unwatchable. Can't imagine anyone over the age of 5 being able to get through a full episode.


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#11 of 95 Ron1973

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Posted September 25 2013 - 08:55 AM

While it may have been the most outlandish concept of all time, it certainly wasn't the worst show. As someone already stated, The Tammy Grimes Show was much worse as was Ugiliest Girl In Town. If you want to go more modern, The Munsters Today or The New Munsters or whatever it was called was unwatchable. Can't imagine anyone over the age of 5 being able to get through a full episode.

When you notice the premise of many shows of the day, it wasn't a far fetched idea. You had seven stranded castaways who had money, changes of clothing, record players, etc. You had a suburban housewife who was a witch. A Jeannie living in Florida in a platonic relationship with an astronaut. Hillbillies who struck it rich in oil, moved to Californy and refused to acclimate to social customs. The show is a product of its time.


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#12 of 95 Rob_Ray

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Posted September 25 2013 - 08:58 AM

"My Mother the Car" became the "whipping boy" for all the sitcoms with outlandish themes which seemed to hit television all at once in the early-to-mid sixties.  Tommy Smothers was an angel, Julie Newmar was a robot, Ray Walston was a martian, Elizabeth Montgomery was a witch, Barbara Eden was a genie, and now Ann Sothern was a car.  Just a few years earlier, TV sitcoms depicted happy domestic lives and wacky working environments, but generally the basic premise was at least somewhat plausible.  Then came Mr. Ed, which got respectable ratings and started the trend.  By 1965, when MMTC premiered, we started getting a backlash, because the IQ level of most sitcoms was dropping dramatically and critics, teachers and monitors of the pop-culture were getting concerned..

 

"My Mother the Car" does have perhaps the stupidest premise of any of them, but try watching "It's About Time" and some of the other ones from that era.  It's not the worst sitcom of all time and not even close.  It's not particularly good, mind you, but it's not deserving of its reputation.  And it has one of the catchiest theme songs.


Edited by Rob_Ray, September 25 2013 - 09:10 AM.

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#13 of 95 Kasey

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Posted September 25 2013 - 09:08 AM

I caught it on TV Land when they first premiered in Spring of '96. As others have stated, much worse sitcoms than this aired but MMTC is the one with the most notoriety.

 

It's more fun than the bland PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES IMO and the thing that stuck with me all these years is the image of 'ol Jerry proudly cruising along in that candy-apple red 1928 Porter once he's gotten it restored. I will be getting this.



#14 of 95 Frank Soyke

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Posted September 25 2013 - 11:23 AM

OK, since this is being released, my next thought is......Accidental Family anyone?

 

 

I'd get both!



#15 of 95 Frank Soyke

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Posted September 25 2013 - 11:31 AM

I'm not being facetious at all, because I really am looking forward to it's release, but the first thing I thought of when I saw the news was... "what a nice little show that I could enjoy with my 6 year old daughter." There is something there for both of us. A step above watching Calliou with her. Good clean comedy. Mindless? Certainly, but still entertaining. Best of all, I wouldn't have to fear her seeing a commercial for Saw 17 or a promo for a Miley Cyrus concert, if I had to run to the kitchen.


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#16 of 95 BobO'Link

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Posted September 25 2013 - 11:48 AM

I'll be picking this one up for sure. 

 

My sister and I typically argued over what to watch on Tuesday's during that time slot.  I wanted Combat and she wanted Daktari so it was usually one of those.  Plus it came on at 6:30pm our time which meant we might also be outside playing rather than parked in front of the TV in spite of me being a huge TV fan (aka early couch potato).  Dad would be in his shop working and Mom would be cleaning up after supper so neither of them would have any influence at that time of day.  I've always thought this one came on at a time when I *couldn't* watch (Sunday or Wednesday nights) and never really looked it up.  I *do* have very vague recollections of an episode or two so I'm sure we sampled it at some point but I know what I was into those years and Combat would win over almost anything else.



#17 of 95 Ejanss

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Posted September 25 2013 - 11:52 AM

"My Mother the Car" became the "whipping boy" for all the sitcoms with outlandish themes which seemed to hit television all at once in the early-to-mid sixties.  Tommy Smothers was an angel, Julie Newmar was a robot, Ray Walston was a martian, Elizabeth Montgomery was a witch, Barbara Eden was a genie, and now Ann Sothern was a car.

"My Mother the Car" does have perhaps the stupidest premise of any of them, but try watching "It's About Time" and some of the other ones from that era.  It's not the worst sitcom of all time and not even close.  It's not particularly good, mind you, but it's not deserving of its reputation.  And it has one of the catchiest theme songs.

 

"It's About Time" was the first big break for Sherwood Schwartz (we should've heeded the warning...), so yes--But MMTC was the "default" punchline joke for most of the 60's about "the Worst TV Show Ever Made", if even just for the catch-all symbolically funny title to sum up the symptom of the disease.

(Sort of like the way that if you wanted to make a joke complaining about the flood of white-trash cable-reality shows, which title ref would get the funnier laugh--Duck Wars, or Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo?...Yes, I would've picked that one, too.)

The Mary Tyler Moore jokes were pretty much on the same default-punchline level as Get Smart's KAOS threatening to torture its captives by "making them watch MMTC reruns".  ;)

 

And to be honest, until I got a book as a kid about "the Worst TV Shows of All Time", I'd never heard about much of the "concept" 60's of Tammy Grimes, Julie Newmar, Captain Nice or It's About Time.

 

(And forgive me for asking, but who's TGG, and what else, if anything, have they released?)


Edited by Ejanss, September 25 2013 - 11:58 AM.

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#18 of 95 Frank Soyke

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Posted September 25 2013 - 12:00 PM

I  liken myself to be fairly well versed in classic TV of all kinds, but I gotta admit, I know nothing about the frequently mentioned Tammy Grimes Show. I guess my question is, what about it was soooo bad? I feel stupid even asking.

 

Oh yeah, by the way, who the h*** is Tammy Grimes anyway?



#19 of 95 Ejanss

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Posted September 25 2013 - 12:10 PM

I  liken myself to be fairly well versed in classic TV of all kinds, but I gotta admit, I know nothing about the frequently mentioned Tammy Grimes Show. I guess my question is, what about it was soooo bad? I feel stupid even asking.

Oh yeah, by the way, who the h*** is Tammy Grimes anyway?

 

Better known for stage, but you'd know Tammy Grimes's voice right away in any movie if you've heard her, it's famously distinctive.  (Especially if you grew up watching "The Last Unicorn".)

 

In her Show, however, she played a wacky heiress trying to hold on to her money, and it lasted four episodes.  Which, back in the day when even an average bad show could last half a season, was a notorious big deal--Only two other shows back then had been as short, and those lasted one episode.

(She was supposed to be Samantha in "Bewitched", but thought that all the special effects would be a "disaster", and passed on it.)



#20 of 95 Ed Lachmann

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Posted September 25 2013 - 12:11 PM

I'll certainly be picking it up since I remember enjoying that show back in the day.  Also, I'd do it to support TGG, whose track record is pretty outstanding.  Their wonderful SEA HUNT box sets have been a joy to watch.  Wonder what else they might come up with.  I'd sure love a couple (or all) of the seasons of BACHELOR FATHER and PEOPLE'S CHOICE.  I'd spring for the much maligned IT'S ABOUT TIME, also.   But, the one I'd love the most and REALLY get excited about would be ADVENTURES IN PARADISE.  Perhaps many of these shows were outlandish, but compared to the cookie cutter, God awful crime shows with cloying electronic music all over them and interchangeable characters of today, they were Shakespeare!






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