Mona From Who’s the Boss: The Original HBIC

by:   |   Aug 20 2014

Anybody who’s watched the seminal ’80s Tony Danza sitcom Who’s the Boss? knows that there’s only one answer to the question in the title. No, the boss of this show wasn’t Judith Light, who played the high-powered, frosty ad exec Angela Bower. And no, it wasn’t Tony Micelli, the beefy dago (I’m allowed to say that, because I’m ITALIAN, OKAY) housekeeper she hired. And it definitely wasn’t Jonathan, Angela’s annoying twink son. The boss was obviously Mona, Angela’s horny-as-hell, buckwild mother, who lived with the family. Mona Robinson had a taste for younger men, a love of adventure, and a fashion sense that *refused* to quit.

Mona was always prude-shaming her daughter Angela, scheming up devious plans, and delighting in her slutty brand of fun. In one episode, she announces she’s going to settle down with one man, and decides to really commit to that change. She tells Angela, “I’m thinking of taking a big step. I’m going down to the Y and erasing my name from the wall.”

But aside from her campy GILF dialogue, it was Mona’s style that always made me sit up and take notice. I mean, what says “I’m spending Christmas drunk on eggnog in the suburbs” quite like this Intarsia sweater and slacks set? So smart, Mones!

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In a scene from another priceless ep, Mona’s keeping it tight in a burnt-orange bikini and a very au courant wood necklace:

Want your own? Try this bright-as-hell option

Mona must’ve been planning a weekend in Santa Fe when she bought this fringe-y top covered in silver conchos:

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Want to rope some steers (aka “catch an STD from a cowboy”), too? Then try this number.

Mona was channeling Shelley Long in Troop Beverly Hills with this ’40s-flashback getup:

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Land, ho! Mona’s out to collect some seamen in this nautical ensemble. It’s very “Jean Paul Gaultier goes to an ice-cream parlor with Shirley Temple.”

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MeOW. Here, Mona catches a man (wearing an animal-print blouse I would absolutely purchase from a Savers if I were to come across it) the only way she knows how: by pantomiming a BJ on a piece of Laffy Taffy. Insouciant!

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Or how about this frothy number, from when Mona got married? PSYCH, it was just a dream sequence. But doesn’t Mona look like a beautiful combination of Miss Havisham and a pile of almost-curdled whipped cream?

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And who could forget Mona’s forays into formalwear? In this one, she’s topped her carnival-tent-meets-Gone-With-the-Wind dress with a necklace that looks like a corncob made of diamonds. I’ll take two.

And as a side note, Katherine Helmond shared something with the character she played: a taste for younger men. Her sculptor husband David Christian is 10 years younger than her; they met when he was 19 and she was 29. Deeeyum, Mona! Here’s a glamour shot of them in the ’80s:

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Not only was Mona clearly the “boss” in the title, she taught us all something about the value of leaning in. But only so that people could look at your cleavage.

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The Co-Founder and Ed-in-Chief of G.A.L.