The network premiere of ‘Mr. Mom’

That’s what happened 37 years ago today (February 16, 1986), when Mr. Mom was shown on network television for the first time.

The movie was originally released in the cinemas in 1983. This was a time when a.) many Baby Boomer women were becoming working moms, and b.) male employment had been battered by the recession of the early 1980s. Both themes are present in the movie. 

This was very much a made-for-Boomers movie, as the Boomers were then mostly in their thirties. That said, the comedy was accessible enough that we Gen X kids enjoyed it, too.

This one also struck close to home for many of us. In 1983 my mother was 37 years old, and working as a junior contract administrator at a local defense contractor. My dad did not become a Mr. Mom. But my parents did have to balance their multiple and crossover roles of breadwinner, parent, and homemaker. 

Like many 80s movies, Mr. Mom was a snapshot of a particular cultural moment. Nowadays, working mothers are common. And while stay-at-home dads are not quite the norm, they aren’t as unusual was they were in 1983 or 1986.