They Say This Was The Worst TV Show Ever. Are They Right?

By Karen Harris
'My Mother The Car' title card; Jerry Van Dyke. Source: YouTube

There have been plenty of terrible sitcom ideas in the history of television, but the short-lived series My Mother The Car, a worst-show-ever candidate, was perhaps the most terrible of all. As the name implies, the show’s main character has a car for a mother, sort of. Actually, he had a mother for a mother, but she's dead, and her soul lives in the vehicle and speaks to her son through the radio's speaker. Totally realistic, right? This questionable premise, you may be surprised to hear, was created by the same group of television masterminds who gave us the biggest hits of the 1960s and 1970s -- proving that even the best creative minds can have a dud of an idea. 

Was My Mother The Car the worst show ever? Well, if we're talking "shows," we quickly get into questions of genre -- is My Mother The Car worse than Keeping Up With The Kardashians or the show where plastic surgeons completely remake people and everyone feigns enthusiasm? (Those are two different shows, by the way.) Alright, we'll throw out reality TV and talk shows and just compare apples to apples -- is it the worst scripted show ever? On the face of it, maybe a car possessed by a man's mother's ghost is no dumber than a horse that talks to Wilbur, and Mr. Ed ran for six seasons and is a beloved classic. And how is My Mother The Car a stupid premise while Knight Rider is considered clever?

Details and execution, folks. My Mother The Car didn't have to be the worst show ever, plenty of dumb premises have made for watchable TV. But it just was.