One 30-episode season was enough for this high-concept NBC sitcom starring Jerry Van Dyke and the voice of Ann Sothern. Contemporary TV audiences were happy to laugh at the wacky adventures of a witch, a genie, or a space alien, but a 1920s Porter car inhabited by the disembodied spirit of a deceased woman was one paranormal phenomenon too far. Critically derided at the time, My Mother the Car has been a perennial entry in most “worst television of all-time” lists ever since.
Series creator Allan Burns found more success a few years later when he teamed with a Car writer, James L. Brooks, to create The Mary Tyler Moore Show (and eventually its spin-offs, Rhoda and Lou Grant). Jerry Van Dyke went on to earn four Emmy nominations on the 1990s sitcom Coach. The car never acted again, though it did briefly resurface in the tabloid pages in 1983 during a rumored affair with KITT from Knight Rider. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Jane Curtin, not ready for prime time (65); Idris Elba, businessman (40); Jeff Foxworthy, 5th grader challenger (54); Swoosie Kurtz, sister (68); Anne Lockhart, original Galactican (59); Carol Wayne, Carson’s Matinee Lady (d. 1985); Jo Anne Worley, sock it to her (75).