Mama is out of the closet and hitting the "road" with Vicki Lawrence in Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two Woman Show. The show is a mixture of stand-up comedy, music and Vicki's observations about real life.
Emmy Award- winning comedienne Vicki Lawrence is one of the most beloved television personalities of her generation. Plucked out of total obscurity as a high school senior, Vicki went on to become part of the now-legendary cast of the "Carol Burnett Show." "I went to the Harvard School of Comedy in front of America," says Ms. Lawrence of her Burnett Show training.
In the seventh season, and hundreds of hilarious sketches later, at the ripe, old age of 24, Vicki created her most endearing character to date, Thelma Harper, or "Mama" as she is better known to her fans. After the Burnett Show, Vicki went on to star in "Mama's Family," which consistently topped the ratings for its entire six-year run of original shows. "Mama" has attained almost a cult status among her legions of loyal television viewers, who still enjoy her in reruns twice daily throughout most of the country.
For several years now, "Carol Burnett Show" alumni, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway have been touring as a comedy act in casinos and performing arts centers and doing skits from the Burnett show to tremendous response. In addition, Vicki and Tim were recently coupled as parents on CBS-TV's "Yes Dear," where their popularity garnered that sitcom its highest ratings to date. Further, the unprecedented ratings for the "Carol Burnett Showstopper Special," which recently delighted more than 50 million viewers, convinced Ms. Lawrence that the time is right to take Mama out of the closet, dust off her sensible shoes and hit the road with her new touring production, Vicki Lawrence and Mama: A Two-Woman Show.
Ms. Lawrence will take the stage first. "My new show will not be a retrospective," she explains. "We are designing a show that is a mixture of stand-up comedy, music and my observations about real life." The multi-talented entertainer is mostly known for her acting and comedic talents, but she also earned a gold record for the 1973 hit, "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia."
Ms. Lawrence also became one of the few successful female game show hosts when she took on the daytime version of "'Win, Lose or Draw." She further perfected her hosting skills on her own daytime talkshow, "Vicki!," from 1992-1994, becoming the only talkshow host since Oprah to be nominated for an Emmy in her freshman year.
On stage, Ms. Lawrence has appeared in numerous productions, including Send Me No Flowers, No, No Nanette, My Fat Friend, Chapter Two, Twigs, Hello Dolly, Special Occasions, I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On The Road, Annie Get Your Gun, and, live from the Grand Ole Opry, Nunsense 3: The Jamboree, which aired on TNN. Most recently she appeared in The Vagina Monologues. Her autobiography, Vicki! The True Life Adventures of Miss Fireball, was published in 1995 by Simon and Schuster.
The entertainer also travels all over the country speaking to charity groups about her life and career, women's health and being a woman in a man's world. Her efforts to protect women's rights were recognized in 1988 when she was the first woman to be honored as "Person of the Year" by the Coalition of Labor Union Women. Her speaking engagements have given her the opportunity to fine-tune much of her comedy.
"I think people will get a kick out of the things Mama has an opinion about. We're creating new material with a more modern and cutting edge. Where Mama is concerned, expect the unexpected. There's really nothing she can't do," she says. "I hope people will be pleasantly surprised by a side of Vicki they may never have seen…I know they will be looking forward to Mama, and for her part, that crazy old gal will be up to the challenge."