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Robert Klein
Review: 'Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley' recalls a trailblazer
Review: 'Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley' recalls a trailblazer

"Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley," in which the former directs a film about the latter, premieres Monday on HBO. It is an homage and a celebration, with something of a high-class homemade feel. The first black female comic to make it in the American pop-cultural mainstream — the first black female stand-up comic, possibly — Jackie "Moms" Mabley will be unknown to many today. She died in 1975, after a career that began before the First World War but was visible only to the white audience from the 1960s, when she began appearing on network variety and talk shows. Clad in a floral housecoat, argyle socks and big shoes, with a cap pulled down on her...

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