THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW was a Desilu Production (that means Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, folks) starring Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard. Both played next door neighbours whose daughter and son respectively had gotten married -- turning friends into in-laws with all the 60's comedy hijinx you'd expect. Arden's husband was played by Herbert Rudley while Ballard's husband was played by two different actors in each of the show's two seasons. In one of the most iconic TV sitcom "actor switches" since BEWITCHED's Darren Stevens went from Dick York to Dick Sargent, Kaye Ballard's husband on THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW was played by Roger C. Carmel (best known as Mudd on STAR TREK) for one season and by Richard Deacon (best known from THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW) for another season. Of course, the radically-different appearance of Kaye Ballard's husband from one season to another was never acknowledged. Ahhhhh, the 1960's! Also starring as Eve Arden's perky blonde daughter was the late Deborah Walley (soon to be amongst the gang who terrorized BENJI in 1974).
Being a Desilu production, the emphasis was on slapstick as I recall. The episode I remember most is when guest-star Desi Arnaz (Lucy never appeared on the show to my knowledge) wanted to give Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard a suckling pig for dinner. Unfortunately, the pig arrived at their house ALIVE and naturally the women couldn't bring themselves to kill it. Arnaz tells them that HE will take care of the pig -- until, that is, he discovers the ladies have nicknamed the pig "Bright Eyes". Probably the most famous MOTHERS-IN-LAW moment was when 60's freaky band The Seeds guest-starred on the show and performed their one hit wonder single "Pushing Too Hard" while Deborah Walley fruged and the parents grimaced and held their ears. Of course, I'm not silly enough to expect that, once I see the series again after almost 30 years, that it will be a comedy masterpiece. I'm sure nostalgia will override quality. However, THE MOTHERS-IN-LAW is a much-beloved part of my childhood and for that reason I'm more excited at the upcoming DVD release than practically any other I can think of. That's why I've even posted the theme song below; in such an atrociously grainy copy that even has the end of the theme song CUT OFF before it finishes. Sadly, this is the only video of the MOTHERS-IN-LAW theme I could find so here it is. It's such a great, manic, 60's theme song that even in this rough posting it's fun. Enjoy.