WATCH CALL YOUR MOTHER ON COMEDY CENTRAL THIS SUNDAY, MOTHER'S DAY!
Fans of Bridget Everett know and love her for her ribald panache, but they probably don’t know how much of Everett’s sense of humor comes from her equally bawdy mother, Freddie Everett. That’s one of the revelations — and perhaps the point — of the documentary “Call Your Mother,” which celebrates how comedians have been influenced by the women who raised them.
The directing team of Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady interviewed dozens of comics, sometimes with their mothers sitting next to them to offer praise or a second opinion. They also capture behind-the-scenes moments like when David Spade’s mother, Judy Todd, attends the taping of an episode of her son’s late-night talk show, “Lights Out With David Spade,” during which he confesses that he omits certain jokes when his mother is in the audience.
As Awkwafina, Jim Gaffigan, Jo Koy, Jen Kirkman, the Lucas Brothers and Yvonne Orji attest in the film, not every mother was pleased with her child’s decision to pursue comedy. Roy Wood Jr., a correspondent for “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” reveals he kept his early ambitions a secret from his mother, Joyce Dugan Wood, because he knew she wouldn’t have approved. After he graduated from college, his mother recalls: “He took the degree. He threw it on the bed. He says, ‘You can have this. I don’t need this degree in my profession.’ So I accepted it graciously. I framed it. I put it on the wall. And from this point on, I guess he must’ve been right.”
SEAN L. McCARTHY