Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Guilty No More #3

Another "Guilty Pleasure" entry, up there with the ranks of The Pirate Movie:

Mama's Family

Yep, you read that right. Upon seeing a picture and discussion over at 70s-Child, I decided to embrace the show once again.

A spin-off of the skits from The Carol Burnett Show, Mama's Family lasted from 1983 to 1990, first on NBC, then in first-run syndication. The cast was lead by Vicki Lawrence as Mama, with Ken Berry as her dim-witted son Vinton Harper and Dorothy Lyman as his sexpot second-wife Naomi.

When the show ran for two seasons on NBC, Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman appeared as Mama's daughter Eunice and her husband Ed. Betty White also starred as another daughter, Ellen, and Rue McClanahan  appeared as Mama's younger sister, Fran. Also appearing were Vint's teenage children, Sonja and Buzz, played by Karin Argoud and Eric Brown.

When the show was cancelled and revived in syndication, much of the cast was gone. Burnett and Korman moved on, Vint's children were gone, and White and McClanahan moved onto The Golden Girls. So, a couple of new faces were brought in: Allan Kayser played the role of Eunice and Ed's much-talked-about, but never seen, son Bubba Higgins. And Beverly Archer played Mama's neighbor and best (albeit younger) friend, Iola Boylan.

The show went on for four more seasons with this cast, and while never considered ground-breaking or anything, it was a fun, wacky show. Basically, it involved Mama's reactions dealing with her family and the problems they brought into her life. She wasn't one to suffer fools gladly, but ironically she had a house full of them.

I watched the episodes during the first run, and again in reruns. It has been a few years since I have seen the show, but I bet I would still love the small-town, small family hijinks and fun the show was good at.

Not sure if there are other fans out there, but I count myself as one and I will be Guilty No More for it!

Below are the openings for the NBC and the syndicated versions:


  1. I always wondered why the show featured two kids and two Golden Girls who suddenly disappeared in season three....
    Thanks for the explanation!

  2. I am not a fan at all, but I know people who were. they thought it was funny as can be...

  3. ok this one was a bit much for me to handle...smiles.

    it was a funny show though

  4. Ready for the next one! Surely you've recovered from the 4th weekend by now? Or are you on holiday?

  5. This is one of those shows that, if i'm channel-flipping and i run across it, i ALWAYS have to stop and watch it. It was so bad and so formulaic (is that a word?) and addictive. I hope Vicki Lawrence made a LOT of money from this show!!