Women in Comedy: Moms Mabley
Jackie “Moms” Mabley emerged from the Chitlin’ Circuit of African-American vaudeville to become a pioneer in mainstream comedy. Once billed as “The Funniest Woman in the World,” Mabley pushed the boundaries of comedy by tackling topics such as gender, sex, and racism and performed up until her death in 1975. Whoopi Goldberg pays tribute to Moms Mabley in this 2013 documentary, which features vintage clips and recordings of Mabley, as well as recent interviews with some of the world’s top comedians, including Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, and Robert Klein. A true passion project for first-time director Goldberg, the documentary shows Mabley’s historical significance and profound influence as a performer vastly ahead of her time.
Bambi Haggins (Film and Media Studies, UC Irvine), who is featured in the film and served as a consultant to Goldberg, will join moderator Patrice Petro for a post-screening discussion.