Erma Bombeck * Mirth Mother

5 Apr



We baby boomers share a common “Mirth Mother” in beloved humorist and best selling author Erma Bombeck.

We were weaned on Erma’s wise and witty columns via newspaper clippings that our mothers proudly posted on the refrigerator door (this served as a blog in ancient times.)

While many of our mothers were marginalized by stunted cultural expectations and a crying lack of opportunity, Erma broke through those prickly barriers of her day with brilliant humor and unforgettable humanity to provide Mom with a powerful voice and much needed comic relief.

Sweetly subversive and hot damn hilarious, Erma poked enormous fun at the absurdity of women’s lives yet clearly valued parenting, marriage, and the vital importance for us all to fulfill our potential.

Erma epitomized “The One Who Does It All” – successful career, happy family – not to mention fame and fortune – all while being incredibly funny and (genuinely) nice. No small feat, but a worthy goal!

Let us thank “Erma Bombeck, Mirth Mother“ for blessing us with the inspiration, the role model and the legacy of laughter.  (Now sit up straight and stop chewing with your mouth open!)

Barb Best

Barb Best


Barb Best, 2010 Erma Bombeck Global Humor Winner


Erma Bombeck Museum

Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop



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6 Responses to “Erma Bombeck * Mirth Mother”

  1. Barbara April 5, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    I was technologically savvy even back before computers, cause I “bookmarked” all my favorite Erma Bombeck columns. (that means I cut them out with scissors and put them in a file) When my friends were putting posters of rock stars on their walls, I was scrapbooking Erma. I guess I was a humor nerd.

    • Barb Best April 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Humor nerd! LOVE it… my favorite people are humor nerds.

  2. Diane April 7, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    Back in the 70’s my parents had one of Erma Bombeck’s books in our trailer when we were camping. The title caught my attention (The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank). With a title like that, I couldn’t resist and was hooked on Bombeck after that. Loved her sense of humour! Thanks for reminding me of her again, Barb

  3. Janie Emaus April 8, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    I grew up on Erma. I’m so, so SO excited about this conference!

  4. DarleneMAM April 8, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Like Diane, the first Erma book I ever read was “The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank.” I haunted our local library after that…and read everything Erma! Such fond memories.
    I’m looking forward to attending the workshop again this year. Can’t wait to see you, Barb!

  5. Joanne Jackal April 9, 2014 at 6:06 am #

    You characterized Erma’s contributions and gifts so well! I love her for giving humor a female voice at a time when almost all comedy was from the man’s point of view. Remember all those mother-in-law jokes? And she made us all laugh without any of the nastiness or put downs that were (and still are) the basis for too many jokes.
    Thank you, Erma! Thank you, Barb!

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