14 – The making of Mr. Mom … (and Mrs. Dad) (1983)

A look into the production and development of Mr. Mom, and how it almost but not quite embraced 1980s feminism. This isn’t a review podcast, but rather tracing how the film got made and some aspects of the creation. Mr. Mom was released to theatres in select cities on July 22, 1983.

Mr. Mom is available from Shout Factory and probably a bunch of other places.

Special guest star: Sarah Innis as Lauren Shuler Donner


From the press release:

“When rising young executive Jack Butler is handed his pink slip at the office, it’s a pass into a strange new world. He swaps his briefcase for his wife Caroline’s apron so that she can bring home the bacon while he is introduced to the joys of motherhood. While Caroline is scoring points at the office, Jack is wiping up after three boisterous kids, wrestling with rampaging appliances, dodging a lusty divorcee and slowly becoming addicted to the torrid melodrama of daytime soaps. To Jack’s chagrin, Caroline has become a bigger success than he could have anticipated…while Jack mans the home front as Mr. Mom.

Select Cast & Crew

  • Michael Keaton … Jack Butler
  • Teri Garr … Caroline Butler
  • Frederick Koehler … Alex Butler
  • Taliesin Jaffe … Kenny Butler
  • Courtney White … Megan Butler
  • Brittany White … Megan Butler
  • Martin Mull … Ron
  • Ann Jillian … Joan
  • Jeffrey Tambor … Jinx
  • Christopher Lloyd … Larry
  • Tom Leopold … Stan
  • Graham Jarvis … Humphries
  • Carolyn Seymour … Eve
  • Michael Alaimo … Bert
  • Valri Bromfield … Doris
  • Charles Woolf … Phil
  • Miriam Flynn … Annette
  • Edie McClurg … Check Out Lady
  • Lauren Shuler Donner … producer (as Lauren Shuler)
  • Aaron Spelling … executive producer
  • Lynn Loring … producer
  • Victor J. Kemper … director of photography

The Soundtrack

The score was written by Lee Holdridge (East of Eden, Splash) and is unreleased. The soundtrack relies heavily on Holdridge’s score, so only a few other identifiable tracks appear in the rest of the film.

  • “The Incredible Hulk Theme” – John Douglas
  • “Morning Wings (The Young and the Restless)” – Jack Alocco (with Jez Davidson & David Kurtz). I’m not 100% sure of this track…
  • “Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless)” – Barry DeVorzon & Perry Botkin Jr.
  • “Gonna Fly Now (from Rocky II)” – Bill Conti
  • “Strangers In The Night (from Strangers in the Night)” – Frank Sinatra & Nelson Riddle
  • “Patton-Main Title” – Jerry Goldsmith

Bonus Tracks:

The soundtrack also uses a couple recognizable songs and sound-a-like music cues.

  • “Main Title and First Victim (from Jaws)” – John Williams.
  • “Chariots of Fire” – Vangelis. This song does not appear in the film but Holdridge creates a sound-a-like track for the film used during the company tournament.


Episode artwork is adapted from the movie poster artwork, 1983.

Teri Garr & Michael Keaton, 1983.


Mr. Mom. Eighth Draft.


The Hanes ads below are mentioned in the episode, but are unrelated to the film.

Hanes underwear ad, circa 1981.


Hanes underwear ad, circa 1983. Published in Jet


Theme music by Bradley Davis (Fresh Snow). Incidental music, by 5MP, with sound effects by Are16ocean, Deraj, Kwahmah, Panzen, TheShaggyFreak, and Sailor55 from freesound.org. This episode also includes excerpts of the unreleased Lee Holdridge score, the At Ease Theme by Jack Elliot (1983), the “Virginia Slims Cigarettes jingle” (1968), and “I Love New York,” by Metropolis (1978).


An earlier version of this episode stated that Hughes was writing Nates and Hayes in 1981. However, Hughes wasn’t hired to rewrite Nate and Hayes until July 1982. The audio has been updated. (06/23/18)

Episode sources can be found here.

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