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A salute to the best moms in Hollywood history

Stuck in the '80s outcasts Sean Daly and Steve Spears are the kind of twisted pop culture dorks that only a mother could love. So naturally, the needy boys will go out of their way this Sunday to worship and praise all moms, both real (Mary Daly! Bonnie Spears!) and imagined (Peggy Bundy? Roseanne?!). In this tender electronic chat, Daly and Spears dole out hugs and kisses for the all-time great mothers on screens both silver and small.

Daly: There's no question about the best Hollywood mom: JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling in Poltergeist. She's hip, funny and battles child-napping demons in a tiny nightshirt. "Don't touch my babeeeee!!!"

Spears: Dude, she smokes pot. That's a horrible example. Movie and TV moms should be funky but fundamental, like Shirley Partridge meets Marion Cunningham. They shouldn't be huffing Colombian Red in the haunted mansion.

Daly: What are you, a narc? I also adore Mary Steenburgen in the movie Parenthood. She's funny, tolerant, wise, pretty. She smokes pot, too. I apparently like 'em sweet but law-averse!

Spears: A lot of people will say Carol Brady is the top mom over in TV Land. Or at least the best mom with snap-on hair and bell-bottoms. She's followed closely by The Cosby Show's Phylicia Rashad (above) as the sly, sexy Clair Huxtable. You probably liked Peg Bundy, didn't you?

Daly: I'll admit that Peg's hot pants caused me some Oedipal distress. But as far as I'm concerned, a good Hollywood mom hovers between saint and sinner. They should be characters who make parenting look tough but rewarding. Like Linda Lavin in Alice. She could raise a randy teenage son and sling withering zingers with Mel. I really liked Roseanne, too. Seriously! Oh, and Marge Simpson.

Spears: Okay, weirdo, I have to ask: Of all the moms in pop culture, which one is most like your own? I'll say Bonnie Spears is the perfect combo of stern Aurora Greenway from Terms of Endearment and huggable Jack Butler from Mr. Mom. But with a dose of overly protective Elaine Miller from Almost Famous thrown in for that time I came home with the girl who smoked cigarettes in my '82 Mustang.

Daly: Mary Daly, a.k.a. the Diplomat, is wickedly tough on me but saintly to the rest of the world. In other words, she's a cross between the murderous Queen in Aliens and Ralphie's mom from A Christmas Story.

Spears: Very good. Hey, we should do this again for Father's Day. Let me guess your fave Dads. Cheech and Chong, perhaps?

More Hot Mom Action!

To listen to Sean Daly, Steve Spears and Stephanie Hayes wax poetic about their fave mothers in pop culture, crank up the Stuck in the '80s podcast at

Sunday on ETC

Eric Deggans honors the coolest moms on TV today.

A salute to the best moms in Hollywood history 05/05/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 6, 2010 8:50am]
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