Do you know who Moms Mabley is? If you don’t, you should. Moms Mabley was born Loretta Mary Aiken in 1894 and was a huge comedy pioneer for women as Moms is considered America’s first female standup comedian. She was a woman way beyond her time — gay, black and political.

PYPO ’s funny ladies and this week it is getting real. A daft TV executive once said women were not as funny as sports or pets. Uh, no way, dude. Women are side-splittingly, rip roaringly funny.

Do you know who Moms Mabley is? If you don’t, you should. Moms Mabley was born Loretta Mary Aiken in 1894 and was a huge comedy pioneer for women as Moms is considered America’s first female standup comedian. She was a woman way beyond her time — gay, black and political. Oh, and Moms was a mom too, of six children. She broke out on the Vaudeville Chitlin Circuit and later appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and the The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Moms Mabley killed it and paved the way for post World War 2 comedians like Phyllis Diller and Lucille Ball. With the rise of commercial television in the US, sitcoms like ‘I Love Lucy’ gave funny ladies like Lucille Ball a platform. Who can forget the too-fast chocolate factory line or the grape squishing sketch?

Phyllis Diller broke into the male-dominated arena of stand up in the 1950s. She played an eccentrically dressed housewife in wacky housecoats with her trademark wild hair and a cigarette in her mouth. Phyllis was the first comedian to turn the tables on male comic “wife bashing” by creating an act that revolved around constant criticism of her fictional husband “Fang.” “Fang is a good loser,” Diller said, “He lost 11 jobs in one year.” The one-liners from Diller’s long-suffering housewife persona were delivered with her signature cackle laugh.

Soon thereafter we were introduced to our beloved Joan Rivers (“Can we talk?”) Lilly Tomlin (“One ringy-dingy..”), Carol Burnett, Roseanne Barr, and Whoopie Goldberg. Whoopie went from standup star to film start to Oscar winner. Whoopie and the others paved the way for our beloved funny ladies of today: Amy Schumer, Kirstin Wiig, Margaret Cho, Tina Fey, Lena Dunham, Sara Silverman and scads of others.

Lucille Ball once said, “I am not funny. What I am is brave.” PYPO is getting brave this week by hosting a PYPO Cocktail Hour at Hollywood Improv, tonight, May 25. (INSERT HYPERLINK) Come by and be brave! In the meantime, enjoy some of our favorite funny ladies of PYPO.

 



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