As you may have heard me talk about previously, I’ve been a fan of Mama’s Family since I was four apples high. It’s one of the most unheralded series out there. It’s one of the most consistently hilarious shows on television.
Television shows can transport you to another time and place and that’s what happens to me when I watch this show. As I said in my review for the Mama’s Family Favorites DVD, “I can remember watching Mama’s Family with my grandmother back in the day and when the series was in first run syndication. The memories we had watching the series cannot be replaced.”
Vicki Lawrence starred in Mama’s Family, which originated as part of the “Family” sketches on the Carol Burnett Show. The series originally premiered on NBC in 1983 and was short lived, ending it’s first run in 1984 after two seasons. This incarnation of the series also starred Rue McClanahan as Mama’s spinster sister and Mama’s son Vinton (Ken Berry) who recently was left by his wife with their two children. Betty White, Harvey Korman and Carol Burnett were all recurring characters on the series reprising their roles from the “Family” sketches.
Once the series was cancelled, something really rare happened, the show was resurrected to start original episodes in first run syndication. At that time, a lot of networks had air time to fill before the prime time programming, and as a way of keeping people engaged, stations would syndicate first run series, like Small Wonder, Out of This World, and She’s the Sheriff. Mama’s Family was included in that bunch and was slightly retooled.
The only original cast members to come back were Lawrence, Berry and Dorothy Lyman who played frisky neighbor Naomi who would eventually marry Vinton and move into the basement. Vinton’s two kids were mentioned briefly and then never spoke of again, instead joining the cast were Beverly Archer as Mama’s best friend Iola and Allan Kayser as Bubba who was Mama’s grandson.
Mama’s Family: The Complete Collection has been reissued in a really affordable set. The retail price has dropped to $39.99 which makes this collection the perfect present for the holidays. I know that myself I would love to receive this set, and for six seasons of classic television, that’s a drop in the bucket.
This set includes all 130 episodes from the series run and they’ve been released direct from the broadcast masters. I have to tell you, for a series that was done so long ago, it looks phenomenal.
I think you could have guessed by now what a huge fan of this show I am and I’m telling you this set is awesome. If you were a hard core fan of the series Mama’s Family or just a casual fan, this is the perfect set for you. I can’t recommend it enough!
The Mama’s Family: The Complete Collection is out now on DVD! And this reissue is being sold exclusively at Wal-Mart!
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