She was, of course, the ultimate Mother-in-law: meddling, malicious, demeaning, disapproving, and (best of all) a real witch! She was also kinda hot, in that gauzy 1960’s matronly way. And you can’t really blame her for all the son-in-law bashing. Darren One was a bit of a boob, always running around wide-eyed like a cat whose tail got stuck in a socket. He was a guy who seemed to beg for abuse. It’s wasn’t nice, but it was funny, and considering the things that Endora did to him, he was a pretty good sport about it. Not so for Darren Two – the scowler. I kept waiting for Endora to hex him off the show entirely – he had no sense of humor and more than a glint of animosity. He was wholly unlikeable; but Samantha loved him (there is no accounting for taste) and Endora, despite all her ball-busting bluster, wanted her daughter to be happy. Just goes to show you – witches might make for challenging in-laws, but they’re damn good moms!
Judika Illes, also a damn good mom, AND a woman of vast occult and pop-culture knowledge, gives the glam-witch Endora her due in The Weiser Field Guide to Witches:
As played by veteran actress Agnes Moorhead, Endora was initially intended as the villain of the ABC televisionseries Bewitched—not because she was a witch, but because she was a mother-in-law. Bewitched debuted in 1964, a time when evil mother-in-law jokes were stylish.
Witches are a different species in the Bewitched universe, possessing superpowers and only physically resembling mortals, as humans are called. The premise of the show is that Endora’s daughter, Samantha, who has fallen in love with and married a mortal, is attempting to live as a mortal, avoiding the use of her magic powers. Endora, who takes tremendous pride in being a witch, is appalled—although she consistently helps Samantha whenever needed. She may disapprove of her son-in-law, but she clearly loves her daughter. Endora is glamorous, tough-talking, and sharp-witted, and is the consistent source of Bewitched’s cleverest jokes and lines. She has emerged as a heroine for many 21st-century witches. The name “Endora” references the Bible’s Woman of Endor.
A little You-Tube love for Endora!