Emmy Contenders: Wendi McLendon-Covey talks about her take on the sitcom mom


June Cleaver. Carol Brady. Beverly Goldberg?

Wendi McLendon-Covey, who stars as the overbearing mother on the ‘80s-set ABC family comedy “The Goldbergs,” isn’t sure that you can measure her larger-than-life character against sitcom moms of yore.

McLendon-Covey inhabits the role of Beverly Goldberg, who is based on show creator Adam F. Goldberg’s own mother, in all her big hair, shoulder-pad glory. When the actress stopped by the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday to discuss her role, she talked about not quite fitting in with her TV mom counterparts.

“When you say sitcom mom, I immediately go to Carol Brady or June Cleaver or Roseanne or Mrs. Cunningham,” said McLendon-Covey, whose onscreen husband is played by Jeff Garlin. “And my character, Beverly Goldberg, is so much more obnoxious than that. I’m not a mom in real life, so it’s fun to play one. I absolutely feel like I’m getting a glimpse into my mother’s world when I was growing up in the ‘80s and what she has to deal with.”


A pause.

“I was mostly an angel. But I certainly do feel for what she went through trying to cling on while I was trying to get away.”

“The Goldbergs,” currently in its second season, is part of ABC’s stable of family comedy block, sandwiched between veterans “The Middle” and the “Modern Family” on Wednesdays. And McLendon-Covey, whose other credits include “Reno 911” and “Bridemaids,” has won over critics with her portrayal as the mother who has a tendency to smother her three children.

Click on the video to hear what McLendon-Covey had to say about what a show about present-day might look like in 25 years, her offset nagging tendencies with her costars, and what she hopes to explore with her character in a third season.

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