Mama's Family

NBC (ended 1990)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 6 : Ep 20

    Bye-Bye -- Baby!

    Aired 2/24/90

  • S 6 : Ep 19

    There is Nothing Like the Dames

    Aired 2/17/90

  • S 6 : Ep 18

    Look Who's Breathing

    Aired 2/10/90

  • S 6 : Ep 17

    Guess Who's Going to Dinner

    Aired 2/3/90

  • S 6 : Ep 16

    Pinup Mama

    Aired 1/27/90

  • Cast & Crew
  • Harvey Korman

    Alistair Quince/Host (1983-1984)

  • Rue McClanahan

    Francis "Fran" Crawley (episodes 1-35)

  • Ken Berry


  • Vicki Lawrence

    Mrs. Thelma "Mama" Crowley-Harper

  • Dorothy Lyman

    Naomi Oates Harper

  • Photos (1)
  • show Description
  • Mama's Family mined humor from a squabbling family in the Midwestern blue collar suburb of Raytown. The noisy clan was headed by Mama, a buxom, gray-haired widow with sharp opinions and a sharper tongue who shared her small house with her high-strung sister Fran, a journalist for a local paper. Mama's lazy, dimwitted son, Vint, a locksmith by trade, moved in at the start of the series with his troublesome teenage children, Buzz and Sonja, after his wife run off to become a Las Vegas show-girl. Much to Mama's disgust, Vint soon took up with the flirtatious neighbor Naomi. The two where married in early 1983, and Naomi moved in too. Further uproar was caused by the periodic visits from Mama's two married daughter's, the foul mouthed Eunice and the snobbish Ellen. Ed was Eunice's Dolt of a husband. In the Fall of 86 Mama's Family returned to TV in first-run syndication. Fran had recently passed (Rue McClanahan was now starring in The Golden Girls) and Ed and Eunice had moved to Florida. They had neglected to mention this to there delinquent son Bubba who, after serving a time in Juvenile Hall for car theft, ended up living with Mama in Fran's old room, much to the consternation of Naomi and Vinton who thought they were getting it. Iola was the prissy neighbor who barely convealed her romantic designs on Vinton. The Biggest event in the run of Mama's Family occured in the Spring of 1990 when Naomi, who had seemingly been pregnant for an eternity, presented Vinton with a bouncing baby girl named after his Mama-Tiffany Thelma. They had moved out of her house but not of her shadow, as they were now living in a trailer on her property.moreless

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  • Mafeu

    User Score: 84


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1343)

    • (Fran sees everyone moving things and asks Ellen what's going on) Ellen: Fran, Mama has some bad news and some good news for you. The bad news is... there isn't any good news.

    • Fran: One must chew one's food. Mama: One doesn't have to chew eggs. You just let them slide down your throat.

    • Naomi: If you're not gonna pay any attention to me, I'm just gonna have to take it to the small claims court. Mama: Well, take it to the Supreme Court for all I care! They can always work in one more lunatic.

    • Naomi: Well, since you are going to ignore me, I'm going to have to take it to the small claims court. Mama: Then take it to the Supreme Court. They will be glad to take in one more lunatic.

    • (Sonja is reading a story she found in her new room) Sonja: "Gladiola said hush to her confused mind as the senator's strong, primitive body slowly crushed her to the ground." Mama: Well, how did this smut get into my house?! Fran: That is my BOOK! Sonja: Wow, that's hot stuff, Aunt Fran.

    • (Looking at the bag of walnuts Vint brought her) Mama: Just what I need: some more nuts in this house.

    • Mama: I need a beer. Only way I'm gonna keep from going crazy around here is to stay half lit.

    • (Ellen looking at her old english composition notebook) Ellen: Ohhhhhh, "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up" by Ellen Harper. "I want to be a famous movie star, an author, and one of the richest women in the world." Mama: None out of three ain't bad.

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    Notes (153)

    • The episode ranked #28 for the week, with an 18.6 household rating, and a 28 percent audience share with about 15.5 million households tuning in.

    • In the first and second seasons, there was an opening by Harvey Korman, whom portrayed "Allistair Quince" in these openings. These are not shown in syndication, and maybe explain the odd sequencing of episodes.

    • Mama had 3 other sons Phillip (Roddy McDowell), Jack (Tommy Smothers) and Larry (Alan Alda) from the sketches on Carol Burnette. They were never mentioned again. Vint (Ken Berry) did not appear on the Carol Burnette Sketches

    • Throughout the first and second seasons, though listed as a guest star, Betty White and Carol Burnette will appear in the opening credits that they guest star in.

    • Mama's Family is actually a spin-off of the sketch on "The Carol Burnett Show" called "The Family" which had a different set for the house, and Vint was not Mama's son. Instead, Mama had a son named Phillip who was an actor. And Fran did not live with Mama. And there was no such thing as Naomi.

    • Shown as the 4th episode in syndication.

    • The Bigger Jigger is mentioned for the first time.

    • Shown as the 5th episode in syndication.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (119)

    • In here, Naomi is Mama's next door neighbor. But in other episodes, the Gebharts were Mama's neighbors since she was married to Carl. How did Naomi acquire the house from people who were living there the whole time?

    • Perhaps the biggest flub of the series: Fran is upset about losing her studio, indicating that there are 3 bedrooms upstairs. Mama's, Fran's, and Eunice and Ellen's old room (which Sonya got when she moved in). But Later on, in episode 36, Vint and Naomi are upset about losing the upstairs room to Bubba. If there were 3 bedrooms upstairs before, what happened to the other one?

    • When Ellen asks Mama how she'd like it if Carl was seeing another woman across town, Mama replies that she'd have given him bus fare. But when Mama thinks he's having an affair in his grave in "A Grave Mistake," she freaks out. Why did she change her mind, and why was it okay when he was alive but not when he's dead and gone?

    • Buzz is the only member of the team that never got a chance to play the Feud.

    • In an attempt to include Sonya and Fran in this episode, in the last scene, Vint screams upstairs for Sonya and then into the kitchen for Fran, hopefully making it look like they where really home. The problem is that neither appeared nor made a sound.

    • During the first face-off with Mama and Webster she screams out the answer before buzzing in and they throw the question out. But during the game Vint screams out an answer and the Van Courtland's get to use it to their advantage. Seems to me that if they had to throw one out, they should throw the other out.

    • There is a shot where Ed is wearing a party hat. Then, in the next scene it disappears. In the following shot of Ed's head, the party hat mysteriously reappears again.

    • When the lady is interviewing Mama, she asks if she completed college, high school, and elementary school. She says no to all. But in the episode "Educating Mama," she says how she dropped out of high school only a little before graduation. How exactly could she get in high school without even completeing elementary?

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    Allusions (50)

    • The title of this episode is an allusion to the comic strip by Lynn Johnson by the same name. The strip was first published in 1979 and is about a family as it matures and deals with life and death.

    • Mama: We had Fluffy for years!
      Mama's Family began as a recurring sketch on The Carol Burnett Show, called "The Family." This line is a reference to one of those sketches, in which Eunice finds out that her childhood pet rabbit, Fluffy, met his demise when Mama cooked him.

    • The title of this episode is an allusion to the phrase "roaring twenties." Roaring Twenties refers to the North American period of the 1920s, which has been described as "one of the most colorful decades in history."

    • The title of this episode, as well as the generic theme, comes from the Akira Kurosawa picture, Rashomon. In feudal Japan, a rape and murder is told and retold from the point of view of four different observers, who are each suspects. Each paints himself in a far better light than what they really are; each story reveals a little more detail than the other. The central theme is, in the end, about truth: which story was the real one, and, by definition, what really is truth as a conceptual whole?

    • The title of this episode is an allusion to two movies. "Destry Rides Again" was released in 1939 and starred Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart. "The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again" was released in 1979 and starred Don Knotts and Tim Conway. The connection to this movie is strong, since Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Conway worked together on the Carol Burnett Show including the skits that lead to this series.

    • The title of this episode is a reference to the 1942 movie titled, The Man Who Came to Dinner, which starred Bette Davis and Jimmy Durante.

    • The title of this episode is an allusion to the 1944 movie titled, "National Velvet". It won two Oscars and starred Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, and Angela Lansbury.

    • The title of this episode is an allusion to a very popular knitting stitch pattern: "Knit One, Purl Two."

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (43)
  • Mama's Family <3

    By LumbadoreanPride704, Nov 07, 2013

  • Little Tiffany!

    By lizzybernice, Jan 20, 2013

  • mamas family

    By gisele7605, Dec 31, 2012

  • Mama Family Help!

    By BretJohnson1, Jul 18, 2012

  • Really Love this show

    By stoppitnish, Jul 17, 2012

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