And if you think about it, she is the anti-Margaret, or the antidote to all the pressure put on middle class women of the Edwardian era (and post Edwardian) to be neat and clean housewives.
Yes, the Egg and I takes place later, but Ma is Edwardian. Just look at her messy coif.
Ma Kettle has so many children she can’t remember their names, and she has given up on housework, (Why bother?)yet she has a happy home, indeed her first born is a charming and brilliant boy.
She feeds her brood what looks like great quantities of healthy food, clearing the kitchen table with one powerful sweep of her arm (as she scratches the underside of her rather feral bosom with her free hand).
I must go back and see the other 9, yes, nine movies about Ma and Pa Kettle.
There is more to this Ma and Pa Kettle phenomenon than mere slapstick.
Margaret Nicholson, of my historical e-book Threshold Girl, born 1853, was a crack housekeeper and proud of it, but it did not in the least fulfill her.