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HBO Sets Whoopi Goldberg's Moms Mabley Doc For 11/18 Premiere Under New Title

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
October 28, 2013 4:53 PM
3 Comments
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HBO has announced via press that the network will air Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley (previously-titled Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' to Tell You) on Monday, November 18, 9pm-10:15pm ET/PT.

Other HBO playdates include: Nov. 18 (4:45 a.m.), 21 (1:45 p.m.), 24 (5:45 p.m.), 26 (11:15 a.m.) and 30 (1:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Nov. 20 (8:00 p.m.) and 28 (3:00 p.m.), and Dec. 24 (4:45 p.m.)

The premiere will be a part of an HBO Documentary Films presentation of a weekly series debuting provocative new specials every Monday through December.

"Moms Mabley has been a huge inspiration to me and so many others, but not a lot of folks outside of the comedy world know about her legacy," says Goldberg. "There are a lot of us who wouldn't be working today without pioneers like her. HBO gave me my first break on TV, so it's only fitting that Moms has a home there now."

Goldberg also executive produces the documentary, along with Tom Leonardis and producer and director George Schlatter.

The rest of the story:

Featuring recently unearthed photographs, rediscovered performance footage and the words of entertainers and historians, the film includes interviews with Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Sidney Poitier, Kathy Griffin, Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Arsenio Hall, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, who emphasize how Mabley paved the way for female comedians and performers everywhere in provocative stand-up routines that challenged racism, sexism and ageism.

In addition, archival footage showcases Mabley in performance at the Playboy Mansion with Sammy Davis, Jr., and on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour."

Born Loretta Mary Aiken in Brevard, NC on March 19, 1894, Jackie "Moms" Mabley was one of the most successful entertainers to perform on the black vaudeville stage, also known as the "chitlin' circuit." Mabley's monologues touched on traditional topics such as family, as well as more controversial subjects that were typically avoided by comedians of the era, regardless of race, including infidelity, poverty, welfare and alcohol.

Mabley's successful career spanned five decades (though white audiences generally did not learn of her until the early 1960s). In 1939, she became the first female comedian to play the Apollo Theater in Harlem, where she earned $10,000 a week at the peak of her career. Mabley performed at Carnegie Hall in 1962, and appeared on such mainstream TV programs as "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" (1967), "The Ed Sullivan Show" (1969) and "The Bill Cosby Show" (1970).

Jackie "Moms" Mabley passed away from heart failure at age 81 on May 23, 1975 in White Plains, NY. She was survived by her children, Bonnie, Christine, Charles and Yvonne Ailey.

HBO Documentary Films and Whoopi Goldberg present A WHOOP INC Production; a film by Whoopi Goldberg; produced by Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Leonardis; directed by Whoopi Goldberg; supervising editor and creative producer, Geeta Gandbhir; editor and associate producer, Maya Mumma; archival producer, Prudence Arndt; consulting producer, Ellen Sebastian Chang; executive producers, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis and George Schlatter.

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3 Comments

  • Robin | November 24, 2013 10:14 PMReply

    Fantastic, I remember Moms from my early childhood. She was so funny, and I was a white kid. Is there anyway for her life story to be turned into a movie or maybe a mini series on HBO. She had such an incredible life. The documentary was wonderful and I think her story should be expanded. Thank you Whoopi, Your wonderful yourself , thank you for all you do. Robin

  • O | November 15, 2013 7:14 AMReply

    Definitely A Must-See. Moms Mabley always made me laugh until I cried.

  • Bforreal | October 28, 2013 10:48 PMReply

    I'm looking forward to this!

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