Whoopi Goldberg is set to bring the hilarious and iconic comedienne Moms Mabley to life in a highly anticipated HBO documentary, Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley, premiering in November.
The buzzed about documentary was previously titled Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin’ to Tell You and was snapped up by HBO back in April during the Tribeca Film Festival.
“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,” Goldberg said when the network announced the deal. “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.”
Read details from Shadow and Act:
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.