A pioneer of social satire, she strongly influenced Black comedians Richard Pryor and Whoopi Goldberg. In her comedy routines, Mabley adopted a stage persona based loosely on her own grandmother but with a distinctly cantankerous and sassy edge. She was known for her folksy humor and ribald jokes and affectionately referred to her audience as her "children."
Onstage Mabley became famous for her gaudy house-dresses, floppy hats, and over-sized clodhoppers. During the 1960s, she recorded more than 20 albums of her comedy routines and appeared on television shows hosted by Harry Belafonte, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, Flip Wilson and Bill Cosby.
A year after starring in the feature film Amazing Grace (1974), Mabley died of natural causes at the age of 78.
What do you remember of 'Moms' Mabley?