Insanely Great

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A personal photoblog with stories, photos and video about Apple, Inc., cycling, photography, and other events in my life.

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:

My husband was ugly. He was so ugly he hurt my feelings. He had to sneak up on a glass of water to get a drink. He used to stand outside the doctor’s office and make people sick.

”I thought he never would die... I shouldn’t talk like that about him though. They say you shouldn’t say nothing about the dead unless you can say something good. He dead. GOOD!”

”There ain’t nothin’ an ol’ man can do but bring me a message from a young one.”

I'm sure I will watch this program again and again!