The Funniest Woman in the World
I'm talking about Jackie "Moms" Mabley.
I was introduced to her in my early teens on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and The Merv Griffin Show, among others. I thought she was hilarious back then, but now I realize she was much more than a comedian.
I just watched the HBO Special, Moms Mabley: I Got Something' to Tell You, directed by Whoopi Goldberg. I learned that in addition to being dubbed "The Funniest Woman in the World," Moms was also a powerful force in the fight for African-Americans' Civil Rights. Her song Abraham, Martin & John made the Top 40 and made her the oldest living person to have a Top 40 hit. Moms was the first woman comedian to be featured at the Apollo, and she recorded more than 20 albums in her 50 year career. In the late 1920s Moms was known to be a lesbian.
I remember her housedress and floppy hat. Her jokes about old men and how she preferred younger men were some of my favorites, including these:
I'm sure I will watch this program again and again!