Friday, November 08, 2013

Know Your LGBT History - Moms Mabley



 

She was a legendary comedian and she was also family. Thanks to Whoopi Goldberg, Moms Mabley will be finally getting her due:

Whoopi Goldberg brings the story of America’s first female stand-up comic, Jackie Moms Mabley to HBO with Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley, premiering November 18. Goldberg—who put up her own money to produce and direct the documentary and went to Kickstarter for additional funds—told Showbiz 411 at the film’s Tribeca screening earlier this year:
We celebrate all the other firsts. Why haven’t we celebrated the first stand up comedian who was a woman and had been doing it since 1928?
Born Loretta Mary Aitken, Mabley began working as a stand-up in the late 1920s, and made a living on the Chitlin’ Circuit—the vaudeville clubs, speakeasies and theaters throughout the eastern, southern, and upper mid-west areas of the United States where African-American performers were able to perform during segregation.

In the early days of her performances, Mabley wore androgynous clothes on stage and worked blue, performing XXX-rated routines. As she developed her act,  Mabley took on the persona of granny or great auntie, wearing a floral house dress and a drooping hat. She took out her dentures for her stand-up routine—at the time dentures were common—and riffed on her character’s desire for young men and her distaste of old ones, addressing the imbalance of sexual power, as well as hitting on politics, race, war, and other social issues.

  . . .  A regular performer at both the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater, Mabley appeared in several films, recorded over twenty albums of her stand up comedy–some on her own label Poontan’–and was embraced in the late 1960s and 70s by television, appearing on Ed Sullivan Show, Merv Griffin, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, the Grammys and other shows. At age 75 she recorded “Abraham, Martin and John,” scoring a Top 40 hit, making her the oldest person to do so (and she still holds that record!). At the peak of her career she was making $10,000 a week, breaking the ground and laying the foundation for women comics like Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers to the Queens of Comedy, Kathy Griffin and Ellen DeGeneres. Moms Mabley, a businesswoman and lesbian during segregation, crossed the color barrier and kicked ass on stage and off.

At age 79,  she came full circle, coming out loud and proud as a lesbian and became, according to Queers in History . . .
Check out the rest of this excellent article by Lisa Derrick for full details on Moms Mabley's life.

Past Know Your LGBT History Posts:


Know Your LGBT History - The Gay Deceivers 

Know Your LGBT History - Famous transgender men and women throughout history 

Know Your LGBT History - Famous bisexual men and women throughout history 

Know Your LGBT History - 25 years of National Coming Out Day 

Know Your LGBT History - Brothers

Know Your LGBT History - The Lion In Winter 
 
Know Your LGBT History - Three's Company 

Know Your LGBT History - Billy Squier and the 'Rock Me Tonite' video 

Know Your LGBT History - A tribute to Bayard Rustin 

Know Your LGBT History - Rock Hudson's Mysterious Illness

Know Your LGBT History - Gays in Film

 Know Your LGBT History - Hit & Miss

 Know Your LGBT History - Soap and Billy Crystal

Know Your LGBT History - Kylar Broadus

 Know Your LGBT History - Ex-gay therapy

Know Your LGBT History - The end of DADT

Know Your LGBT History - Lesbian and gay clubs of the 1950s

Know Your LGBT History - The Billy Douglas storyline on 'One Life To Live'

Know Your LGBT History - Anita Bryant

Know Your LGBT History - 'THE GAYS ARE COMING TO GET YOU' documentaries

Know Your LGBT History - The story of 3 minutes

Know Your LGBT History - Outing

Know Your LGBT History - WKRP in Cincinnati: 'Les on a Ledge'

Know Your LGBT History - Jeanne Manford and PFLAG

Know Your LGBT History - In-the-closet politicians and pastors

Know Your LGBT History - Tales from the Crypt - 'The Assassin'

Know Your LGBT History - Gays in Sports 

Know Your LGBT History - Barney Frank

Know Your LGBT History - Roseanne

Know Your LGBT History - Ellen - 'The Puppy Episode'

Know Your LGBT History - World AIDS Day

Know Your LGBT History - The sad hysteria over the 'down low'

Know Your LGBT History - The Stonewall Riots of 1969

 

Know Your LGBT History - Trevor

Know Your LGBT History - Christine Jorgensen

Know Your LGBT History - Stephen Stucker

Know Your LGBT History - Coming Out

Know Your LGBT History - Prayers for Bobby

Know Your LGBT History - Roy Cohn

Know Your LGBT History - Gladys Bentley

Know Your LGBT History - Wanda Sykes 

Know Your LGBT History - William 'Billy' Haines and Jimmy Shields


 Know Your LGBT History - The Dynamic Superiors

Know Your LGBT History - Jack Fertig (Sister Boom Boom)

Know Your LGBT History - Bugs Bunny

 Know Your LGBT History - The Jeffersons (a repeat)

Know Your LGBT History - Homoeroticism in Fright Night

Know Your LGBT History - New York passes marriage equality law

 Know Your LGBT History - Leonard Matlovich

Know Your LGBT History - Liberace

Know Your LGBT History - A brief history of gay relationships

Know Your LGBT History - Bessie Smith

Know Your LGBT History - Josephine Baker

Know Your LGBT History - Clara Ward and Willie 'Little Axe' Broadnax

 Know Your LGBT History - Venus Xtravaganza

Know Your LGBT History - LGBTs who are changing the world for the better

 Know Your LGBT History - Danitra Vance

Know Your LGBT History - Oliver Sipple

Know Your LGBT History - Gay Rights, Special Rights

Know Your LGBT History - Alan Turing

 Know Your LGBT History - Bayard Rustin

Know Your LGBT History - Billy Preston

Know Your LGBT History - Sylvester

 Know Your LGBT History - Billy Tipton

Know Your LGBT History - Nell Carter

Know Your LGBT History - James Baldwin

 Know Your LBGT History - Paul Winfield

Know Your LGBT History - Barbara Jordan

Know Your LGBT History - Michael Jeter

Know Your LGBT History - All in the Family and Beverly LaSalle

Know Your LGBT History - The Lion in Winter

Know Your LGBT History - Saturday Night Live and 'Schmitts Gay'

 Know Your LGBT History - Brother to Brother

Know Your LGBT History - Shameless

Know Your LGBT History - Car Wash

Know Your LGBT History - The 37th anniversary of 'Flowers of Evil'

Know Your LGBT History - The Best Way To Walk

Know Your LGBT History - The Jackal

Know Your LGBT History - A Cage Without A Key

Know Your LGBT History - In & Out

Know Your LGBT History - 'The Fabulous Gays' of Steambath

Know Your LGBT History - Bound

Know Your LGBT History - Gay characters from children's television show and movies

 Know Your LGBT History - Gay documentaries, past and present

Know Your LGBT History - The Hotel New Hampshire

Know Your LGBT History - The Crying Game

Know Your LGBT History - Set It Off

Know Your LGBT History - The Wedding Banquet


Know Your LGBT History - Bachelor Party

Know Your LGBT History - Starsky and Hutch

Know Your LGBT History - The Naked Civil Servant

 Know your LGBT History - Partners

 Know Your LGBT History - All in the Family: Cousin Liz

Know Your LGBT History - Rebecca

Know Your LGBT History - urban African-American movies

Know Your LGBT History - Charles Pierce

 Know Your LGBT History - Torch Song Trilogy

The Best of Know Your LGBT History

Know Your LGBT History - Masters of Horror - Sick Girl

 Know Your LGBT History - MadTV

 Know Your LGBT History - Gimme A Break

Know Your LGBT History - Not Another Gay Movie

Know Your LGBT History - My Beautiful Laundrette

Know Your LGBT History - The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Know Your LGBT History - I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

Know Your LGBT History - The Gay Deceivers

 Know Your LGBT History - Reflections in a Golden Eye

Know Your LGBT History - Dynasty

 Know Your LGBT History - Milk

 Know Your LGBT History - Black Shampoo

Know Your LGBT History - Never Too Young To Die

 Know Your LGBT History - All About Eve

Know Your LGBT History - Hotel

Know Your LGBT History - The Streets of San Francisco

Know Your LGBT History - Two looks at transgender characters in films

Know Your LGBT History - Flawless 

Know Your LGBT History - Mahogany

Know Your LGBT History - Beverly Hills Cop

Know Your LGBT History - Some Like It Hot

Know Your LGBT History - Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia 

Know Your LGBT History - Dirty Laundry

Know Your LGBT History - The Willie Witch Project

Know Your LGBT History - Spartacus

Know Your LGBT History - Caged

Know Your LGBT History - The Birdcage

Know Your LGBT History - Maude

Know Your LGBT History - That Certain Summer

Know Your LGBT History - Boat Trip

Know Your LGBT History - Staircase

Know Your LGBT History - Beautiful Thing

Know Your LGBT History - Armed and Dangerous

Know Your LGBT History - The Proud Family

Know Your LGBT History - Suddenly Last Summer

Know Your LGBT History - Gay TV Now

Know Your LGBT History - Stewardess School

Know Your LGBT History - Up the Academy

Know Your LGBT History - Don't be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood

Know Your LGBT History - A Different Story 

Know Your LGBT History - Victim

Know Your LGBT History - The Color Purple

Know Your LGBT History - Making Love

Know Your LGBT History - A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge

Know Your LGBT History - Noah's Arc

Know Your LGBT History - Adorable Adrian Adonis

Know Your LGBT History - The Night Strangler

Know Your LGBT History - All in the Family

Know Your LGBT History - Tongues Untied

Know Your LGBT History - The Celluloid Closet

Know Your LGBT History - Querelle

Know Your LGBT History - Theatre of Blood

Know Your LGBT History - Strange Fruit

Know Your LGBT History - Designing Women

Know Your LGBT History - The Children's Hour

Know Your LGBT History - Sylvester

Know Your LGBT History - Once Bitten

Know Your LGBT History - The Boys in the Band

Know Your LGBT History - Christopher Morley, the crossdressing assassin

Know Your LGBT History - Midnight Cowboy

Know Your LGBT History - Dracula's Daughter

Know Your LGBT History - Blacula

Know Your LGBT History - 3 Strikes

Know Your LGBT History - Paris Is Burning

Know Your LGBT History - The Women

Know your LGBT History - Soul Plane


Know Your LGBT History - The Player's Club

Special Know Your LGBT History - Fame

Know Your LGBT History - Welcome Home, Bobby

Know Your LGBT History - Barney Miller

Know your lgbt history - The Jerry Springer Show

Know your lgbt history - Martin Lawrence and that 'gay guy' on his show

Know your lgbt history - The Ricki Lake Show

Know your lgbt history - Which Way Is Up

Know your lgbt history - Gays in Primetime Soaps

Know your lgbt history - Boys Beware

Know your lgbt history - The Boondocks

Know your lgbt history - Mannequin

Know your lgbt history - The Warriors 

Know Your LGBT History - New York Undercover 

Know Your LGBT History - Low Down Dirty Shame 

Know Your LGBT History - Fortune and Men's Eyes 

Know your lgbt history - California Suite

Know your lgbt history - Taxi (Elaine's Strange Triangle)

Know your lgbt history - Come Back Charleston Blue

Know your lgbt history - James Bond goes gay

Know your lgbt history - Windows

Know your lgbt history - To Wong Foo and Priscilla

Know your lgbt history - Blazing Saddles

Know your lgbt history - Sanford and Son

Know your lgbt history - In Living Color

Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords

Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?


Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street

Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys 

Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy

Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda

'Know your lgbt history - Cruising

Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones

Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up

Know your lgbt history - Fright Night

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

The Jeffersons and the transgender community
    

2 comments:

ezs said...

Mr. McEwen:

I e-wrote to let you know about a particularly horrific crime which occurred in the San Francisco area. Luke Sasha Fleishman, a teenager, was lit on fire by his attacker. She is transgender. You can read the entire article by typing in the article: http://www.jobsnhire.com/articles/6674/20131108/transgender-attacked-in-a-blaze-of-fury-by-teenager-california-da-citing-hate-crime-and-charging-the-teen-as-an-adult.htm

I hope you find it worthy to publish it.

As an aside let me compliment on your excellent work. I also want to thank you for putting my work on the side.

Emily Shorette
emilysvirtualrocket.blogspot.com

ezs said...

Mr. McEwen-

I want to correct a mistake I made. I referred to Sasha as transgender, when he should be referred to as agender. The title referred to Sasha as transgender; nevertheless, it was my mistake and my mistake alone. I hope you will join me in letting people know about this atrocity.

Emily Shorette
emilysvirtualrocket.blogspot.com