Per the NYTimes:
With her toothless grin, floppy hat and tell-it-like-it-is persona, Moms Mabley may be one of the most influential comedians you don’t know. She rose to fame in the early decades of the 20th century on the chitlins circuit — the collection of stages around the country that employed black entertainers during segregation — and she would go on to a career that spanned more than 50 years. In that time, she pushed beyond racial and gender barriers, but she drew mainstream attention only starting in the 196os (she died in 1975) and little of her work has survived on film or video. That hasn’t deterred Whoopi Goldberg.
In the documentary “Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley,” which will be shown on Monday on HBO, she traces the comic’s life and talks with performers who were influenced by Mabley, including Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte….
In an interview at the festival and a follow-up this month, Ms. Goldberg spoke about how she discovered Mabley as a child and the influence Mabley had on her own comedy. “I knew there were records in the house that you weren’t supposed to touch,” because of the salty language, she said. “And then she would be on Ed Sullivan, and my mom would let us watch. And somehow she flew into my mouth. I don’t know how it worked, but she’s in there.” …
My dad had a couple of those ‘salty’ records, but my mother made him get rid of them as soon as us kids were big enough to figure out the record player (not that we’d have had any idea what those jokes meant). Giving Moms Mabley a forum on the public airwaves was one of the primary reasons Mom decided the Smothers Brothers weren’t really nice, much as it pained her earnest totebagger soul to admit that…
What’s on the agenda for the start of another week?