My Mother the Car is an American fantasy style family sitcom which aired for a single season on NBC between September 14, 1965 and September 6, 1966. A total of thirty episodes were produced by United Artists Television. Critics and adult viewers generally panned the show, often savagely.The show's co-creator, Allan Burns, went on to create some of the most critically acclaimed shows in television history, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, and Lou. Television producer James L. Brooks, who later collaborated with Burns on these series, created, among others, Room 222, and Taxi. He got his start in television sitcoms on My Mother the Car when he was called upon to rewrite a script for an episode of the series.The other co-creator of My Mother the Car, Chris Hayward, produced and wrote for Barney Miller during its first several seasons.
- Jerry Van Dyke as David Crabtree
- Ann Sothern as Mother
- Avery Schreiber as Captain Manzini
- Maggie Pierce as Barbara Crabtree
- Cindy Ellibacher as Cindy Crabtree
- Randy Whipple as Randy Crabtree
My Mother the Car belonged to the genre of "wacky" TV sitcoms popular at the time that featured supernatural characters and cartoonish situations, such as Bewitched and My Favorite Martian, but it failed and for many years afterward was widely ridiculed as the quintessential "worst show of all time," though many competitors have vied for that title since then. It did not help that the highly respected Dick Van Dyke Show, starring Jerry's brother, was still on the air at the time on another network. Audience demographics was an emerging science in the mid-1960s. My Mother the Car was a hit with younger viewers, but no one at the time knew just how to exploit the youth market with a live-action sitcom.