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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Vicki Lawrence and Mama

Uploaded: Mar 13, 2016
I attended Vicki Lawrence's show at the San Ramon Performing Arts Center last night. Just like the show I attended last year, this one was great. Vicki received a well-deserved standing ovation from the packed house.

My friend Sally drove us because I'm not allowed to drive again yet. I still need my Doctor's permission and then I will need to retake the Driving Test. I won't drive at night any more even if I pass; so Sally drove.

Our seats were in the first row to the right of the stage. We were over pretty far to the right, with only two seats left in the row, but the view was great and Vicki covered the stage moving from one side to the other to be accessible to everyone in the audience. She's a PRO!

I don't often see female comedians. She addressed a lot of jokes to the women in the audience, like visiting the Gynecologist and dating a football player. She's been married to makeup artist Al Schultz for 42 years!

She told the story about being cast in the Carol Burnett show and played a blooper reel from the show during her change from Vicki to Mama. There was no intermission. It was a 90 minute one-woman show.

The Mama character was spun off from the Carol Burnett show into the "Mama's Family" sitcom, which was on TV from 1983 to 1990, with the last four years in syndication. I was a regular fan of that show.

Vicki was in her mid-thirties when she started playing Mama in the show in 1983. Now at 66 she's closer to being the right age for that character. Her 67th birthday is coming up in less than two weeks, but she doesn't look close to it without Mama's gray wig and frumpy dress.

Vicki recorded a couple of hit songs back in the '80's. Her biggest hit was "The Night that the Lights went Out in Georgia," which I always liked. She sang that and some other songs during the show. It was a mix of nostalgia and contemporary fun, and it is really nice to have a venue like this so close to home.
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Posted by Noah, a resident of Los Cerros Middle School,
on Mar 14, 2016 at 10:22 pm

I know that the TV show MAMA'S FAMILY spun off from a long running sketch on the CAROL BURNETT SHOW, and the character of MAMA was quite similar. However, Vicki Lawrence handled the role or her work hard is admirable.

Posted by Logan, a resident of Montair Elementary School,
on Mar 14, 2016 at 10:26 pm

Mama actually was a character on the Carol Burnett show. She was amazing and so funny that they gave her personal series .Which turned out to be a huge hit.

Posted by, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm is a registered user.


Vicki said that Carol was originally supposed to play Mama, but Carol preferred playing Eunice and wanted Vicki to play Mama. The role switching worked out very well for both of them.


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