In spite of being one of the most hilarious voices in The Big Bang Theory, why was Howard Wolowitz' mother never shown?

  • 16
    Well, why was Niles' wife never shown on Frasier? Or Norm's wife on Cheers? Or Columbo's wife? It's a running joke.
    – Walt
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 13:29
  • 1
    Even she was portraited as a fat woman and in Season 3 it is shown that Rajesh was being called by Howard's Mother and it was shown that a hand is catching rajesh from jumping out of window to run away from her if they can portray her and show her hand then they should have at least shown her face too
    – Dark Army
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 13:50
  • 2
    she is unseen character like Mammy two shoes
    – Panther
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:01
  • 3
    @Walt Or the running gag on Home Improvement where you could see just about every part of Wilson except his entire face...
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:27
  • 5
    Because it's funnier that way. They can make up all kinds of jokes about how enormously fat she is and the viewer's imagination can supply a much funnier image based on the jokes than if they tried to have an actual person who fit the description. Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


As a writing device, it's far funnier to let the viewers imagination run away with the wild descriptions that Howard gives. Additionally, by not showing Howards mother, the writers are able to characterize and describe her any way they like, without having to find an actor who lives up to that description. Howard repeatedly describes his mother as having no neck, facial-hair that needs to be removed, and at one point, it was mentioned that she wears a wig. Howards mother is essentially a charicature of an overbearing, overprotective, troubled but caring, single-parent.

Now imagine if we were to actually see Mrs. Wolowitz's reactions when Howard yells at her. Perhaps we would start to feel uncomfortable witnessing this coddled, well-off guy in his 20's, yelling at this morbidly obese, lonely woman. By not showing his mother, the audience can separate the charicature of the woman from the far less funny "reality."


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