The Moms Mabley documentary I Got Something’ To Tell You premiered on HBO earlier this week. Judging from the extremely positive reaction on Twitter, the Whoopi Goldberg-directed flick was a hit for the cable network.
Considered a trailblazer by numerous comedians, Jackie “Moms” Mabley (born Loretta Mary Aiken) got her start in African-American vaudeville. Before long, Mabley made appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Several clips of her classic stand-up routines are available on YouTube. Some are definitely not safe for work.
Moms Mabley was among the first triple X-rated comedians in the country, tacking subjects that were a little too risque for other comics. She covered everything racism to sex, routines she delivered in-character wearing a house dress and floppy hat. Over the course of her career, Mabley released 20 albums and appeared in several movies and TV show.
Whoopi Goldberg told ABC News earlier this year that she put together the Moms Mabley documentary I Got Somethin’ To Tell You because she wanted to introduce the comedienne to a younger generation. Since she helped lay the groundwork for so many modern comics, telling her story was important to Goldberg.
“It was a surprise that so many people felt so deeply about Moms… and how she’s sort of influenced comedy. Because without her, so many of us – black, white, Asian, Hispanic — would not do the kind of work we do,” she said.
Goldberg added, “She was able to talk about — at least in the 60s and the late 50s — about the issues that were pertinent to America, being segregation and how to change it, and how black youths should be… in a way that you don’t even realize that’s what she’s doing. So she was putting a lot out there in a subtle, smart way.”
I Got Somethin’ To Tell You was apparently a big hit with fans and newcomers alike. If Goldberg’s mission was to introduce Moms Mabley to a brand new audience, she apparently accomplished her mission. Check out some Twitter reactions to the documentary below.
This Moms Mabley documentary is well done. Good job, Whoopi.
— Doc Sav (@doctheproducer) November 20, 2013
— Tiffany E. Browne (@TiffanyEBrowne) November 20, 2013
Just watched Whoopi's documentary on Moms Mabley. Hubby & I thought it was awesome! Thanks @WhoopiGoldberg
— campbelljane/artist (@folkartjane) November 20, 2013
For those who remember, or have a faint memory, of Moms Mabley, "Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley," on HBO is nothing short of awesome.
— Dark Star (@DarkstarTweets) November 20, 2013
Exceptional film about Moms Mabley now airing on HBO: http://t.co/M1CemFWOZW
— Dontae Rayford (@drayford) November 20, 2013
Did you catch the Moms Mabley documentary I Got Somethin’ To Tell You on HBO? Are you a fan of the groundbreaking comedienne’s work?