If you don’t know about Moms Mabley already, well, we feel sad for you. She was one of the creators of standup comedy, but her legacy gets ignored and it’s a crying shame. So let’s try to fix that, shall we?
Moms was a female, black, lesbian, elderly comedian at a time when it was just about impossible to be any two of those things at the same time in America, and yet she slayed crowds onstage and onscreen. She came out at 27, supported other young comedians all her life, hustled hard on the mostly-black ‘Chitlin circuit’, and eventually played Carnegie Hall and The Ed Sullivan Show. None of us would be here without her, honestly. So from the bottom of our hearts thank you, Moms, for carving out a place for all of us in the big wide world of comedy.