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 and the world.
No stranger to television, Vicki and her Burnett-crony Tim Conway were coupled as parents on CBS-TV’s “Yes Dear,” where their popularity garnered that sitcom its highest ratings. Vicki perfected her hosting skills on her own daytime talk show, appropriately called “Vicki!,” from 1992 to 1994. She received critical acclaim when she was the only talk show host since Oprah to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy in her freshman year. Most recently she had a recurring role on the popular “Hannah Montana,” as Hannah’s Grandma Stewart. She currently stars alongside David Alan Grier, Martin Mull and Leslie Jordan in Fox’s new hit comedy “The Cool Kids.”
The unprecedented ratings for the “Carol Burnett Showstopper Special,” which 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. “The show 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.”
“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.”
This is not Vicki’s first foray into theater. She has appeared in numerous productions, including Carousel, 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.