Jackie "Moms" Mabley (born March 19, 1894 in Brevard, NC; died May 23, 1975 in White Plains, NY) was an African-American comedienne.

Born Loretta Mary Aiken, Mabley was one of the most successful entertainers of the black vaudeville stage, earning $10,000 a week at Harlem's Apollo Theater at the height of her career. In the 1960s, she become known to a wider white audience, playing Carnegie Hall in 1962, and making a number of mainstream TV appearances in the 1960s.

She was billed as "The Funniest Woman in the World," and she tackled topics too edgy for many other comics of the time, including racism. She got away with it courtesy of her persona: onstage she appeared to be a small, bedraggled woman in a housedress and a funny hat, a 1950's version of a 'bag-lady' persona. She added the occasional satirical song to her jokes, and had a minor song hit in the 1960's with a serious plea for peace, "Everything's Gonna Be Alright."

One of her regular themes was her romantic preference for handsome young men rather than old, 'washed-up geezers' (as witness one of her album titles: Young Men, Sí - Old Men, No). Her aged and bedraggled appearance, including performing with no teeth, made her stated aspirations all the funnier. (In fact, her lack of many apparent feminine characteristics--plus her cackling, scratchy voice--led to assorted rumors that she was actually a man.)

She took her stage name, Jackie Mabley, from an early boyfriend, commenting to Ebony magazine in an interview in the 1970's that he'd taken so much from her, it was the least she could do to take his name. Later she became known as "Moms" because she was indeed "Mom" to many other comedians on the circuit in the 1950's and 60's. She was one of the top women doing standup in her heyday, and recorded more than 20 albums of comedy routines. She appeared in movies, on television, and in clubs. She is buried in Westchester County, NY.
Moms Mabley
Selected filmography of MOMS MABLEY
Selected discography of MOMS MABLEY

Amazing Grace (Grace)
The Cincinnati Kid (Blues singer)
Boarding House Rules (Jackie Mabley)
Killer Diller (Jackie Mabley)
Big Timers (Jackie Mabley)
The Emperor Jones (Marcella)

  • 1961 On Stage (Funniest Woman in the World)
  • 1961 Moms Mabley at the "UN"
  • 1961 Moms Mabley at The Playboy Club
  • 1962 Moms Mabley Breaks It Up
  • 1962 Moms Mabley at Geneva Conference
  • 1963 I Got Somethin' to Tell You!
  • 1963 Young Men, Sí - Old Men, No
  • 1964 Moms the Word
  • 1964 Out on a Limb
  • 1964 The Funny Sides of Moms Mabley [Chess]
  • 1964 Moms Wows
  • 1964 Best of Moms and Pigmeat, Vol. 1
  • 1965 Men in My Life
  • 1965 Now Hear This
  • 1966 Moms Mabley at the White House
  • 1968 Best of Moms Mabley
  • 1969 The Youngest Teenager
  • 1969 Her Young Thing
  • 1970 Live at Sing Sing
  • 1972 I Like 'em Young
  • 1974 (Movie)Amazing Grace (w/ Rosland Cash, Moses Gunn, Slappy White, Butterfly Mc Queen and Stepin Fetchit
  • 1994 Live at the Apollo
  • 1994 The Funny Sides of Moms Mabley [Jewel]
  • 1994 Live at the Ritz
  • 2004 Comedy Ain't Pretty