Check out Moms Mabley, the Original Queen of Comedy

Moms Mabley was a trailblazing African-American 20th century comedian known for warm yet raunchy stand-up routines and hit albums.

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”
—Moms Mabley
Synopsis

Moms Mabley was born in Brevard, North Carolina in the 1890s, and went on to establish a career as the top standup comedienne of her time. She starred in several films, became a headliner at the Apollo Theater and in the ’60s had hit comedy albums. She was also a top draw for a number of TV variety shows. She died in New York on May 23, 1975. Comedian Whoopi Goldberg has directed a documentary on Mabley’s life.

Background

The woman who would become known as famed comedian Moms Mabley was born Loretta Mary Aiken in Brevard, North Carolina, on March 19, 1894 (some sources say 1897), to a large family. She experienced a horrifying, traumatic childhood. Her firefighter father was killed in an explosion when she was 11 and her mother was later hit and killed by a truck on Christmas Day. And by the beginning of her teens, Aiken had been raped twice and become pregnant from both encounters, with both children being given away.

 

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