Top Ten Favorite "Actor Mommy" Mom Roles

I have been getting booked as a mom since I was about twenty-two with no kids. I despised it! It was my bread and butter but it tore down my confidence like I was never going to be able to play the rebel or the girl next door or the cool hacker on Fast and Furious 45. Did they think I looked older than I was? Would I only ever play a mom? It took me a long time to realize that I was so focused on being perceived as beautiful or young and not on playing a full character. Now that I am a mom, it has given me a different perspective on the roles I will play and after a pandemic, I just want the work. Here are my nominees for some of my favorite mom roles in a comedy!

#1 Whoopi Goldberg as Lola in Nobody's Fool

I have said this so many times on the podcast but this is one of my favorite Whoopi Goldberg roles! Essentially she is high and hiding behind plants but that is a simplification of her hilarity. Her subtly with a character who isn't subtle is an masterclass in comedy. Tiffany Haddish and Tika Sumpter aren't too bad either.

#2 Constance Wu as Jessica Huang in Fresh Off the Boat

Constance Wu has been around for while but I came to lover her after a weekend binge of Fresh Off the Boat seasons 1-3. Everything from her mannerisms and posture to her 90's mom shorts and commitment to her love of colonial, commemorative mouse figurines makes me fall over with laughter. She became an inspiration for me because I feel that, like her, I can effortlessly cross between an over protective mother hell bent on making her family successful and stable to dawning beautiful clothing in fancy places (ie Crazy Rich Asians). Another amazing class in comedy!

#3 Michelle Yeoh as Eleanor Young in Crazy Rich Asians

I never get tired of this movie! This woman could take down a buffalo with one side-eye. I love when an actor can make you hate them or at least yell at the screen pleading for them to "not be so mean." This character is so intriguing and I just want all of her backstory.

She is the epitome of the scary mother-in-law but as a new mom of a boy...I totally get it.

#4 Wendi McLendon-Covey as Beverly Goldberg in the Goldbergs

I feel Beverly Goldberg is my future. From her over loving, over coddling and over dressing, Beverly Goldberg's big hair and high shoulder pads make me sing. Wendi McLendon-Covey has made a career out of playing the loud, brash friend who speaks her mind and yells at her husband. That's probably why I love her so much, we are kindred spirits. All she wants is love and honesty and if she doesn't get that...she will make you pay but then apologize for it right after. Isn't that the best kind of mothering?

#5 Wendi McLendon-Covey as Nancy Green in Big City Greens

As I was writing this, I completely forgot that Wendi Mclendon-Covey plays another one of my favorite moms roles! Nancy Green is the tattoo dawning (I love this word), motorcycle riding, fresh out of jail matriarch of one of my favorite cartoons: Big City Greens. This Disney Channel show focuses on a country family that moves to the big city. I love this mom role so much because it shows that motherhood and family come in so many different forms. Plus, she was put in jail for liberating cows from a slaughterhouse or a dairy farm, either way I love her.

#6 John Roberts as Linda Belcher in Bob's Burgers

So Linda is technically played by a male actor but she is still one of my favorites. All the memes are too spectacular that it took me awhile to decide on the one above. Linda is the "one bottle is just a starter" head of the Belcher household. She turns everything into a song to make her point (Have you seen my instagram feed?), doesn't understand what the young kids say these days, is always up for an adventure and wants to turn everything into a scene from a movie. She is who I will be when I grow up. Also, she believes dancing will cure everything and I would have to agree.

#7 Diane Keaton as Daphne Wilder in Because I Said So

So can't lie...I only really know Diane Keaton's career since she started playing a neurotic, medaling mother to adult children but maybe that has always been Diane Keaton's career. Just kidding but I do love it when she plays those types of characters because she does them so well! Because I Said So is one of my mom and I's go to movies. Its a light romcom with an upbeat Natasha Bedingfield soundtrack (very early 2000's) and will make you realize you need to up your medaling game.

#8 Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson in Black-ish

Tracee Ellis Ross plays the amazing Rainbow Johnson : Mother, DOCTOR and eternal optimist. You can find out more about her origin story on the corresponding show: Mixed-ish but this commune-al raised, biracial mother of five, takes openness with her children to a whole new level and she/they can't always handle it. Rainbow grew up in a naked family, my son is growing up in a naked family...I am just hoping to achieve the same kind of awkwardness, that people feel about Rainbow and Jr., with my son. #Momgoals

#9 Jenifer Lewis as Ruby in Black-ish

In case you didn't know, Jenifer Lewis the mother of Black Hollywood. Ruby tells it like it is even if that's not necessarily how it is. She doesn't play about how she loves her son, her animal prints or her soul food. If you don't have a grammy like this, you probably will be the grammy like this. She can pierce your soul with her gaze, turn "You look skinny" into the sweetest sounded insult and she always gives the best hugs. Nothing beats a Jenifer Lewis grammy.

#10 Rashida Jones as Joya in #BlackAF

So apparently this is just a "I love Kenya Barris" blog post but I can't help it. I love the female characters he writes and the actors who play them. Black-ish is a semi-biographical, ABC version of his family where there is always a message and a reason for the story. #blackAF is the reality style, more biographical than semi, Netflix version of his family. I think I related to Joya and Rashida Jones so much in this show because of what I have felt, what Joya expressed in an episode of the show and probably something that Rashida has experienced: biracial woman imposter syndrome. As a biracial woman (white mother, black father) who doesn't necessarily look "my kind" of biracial, getting validation of that has been hard and sometimes very few in between. If you don't watch any other part of this show, watch that episode because it's very honest of what biracial mothers go through.

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