Vicki Lawrence
Source: Screenshot YouTube

Vicki Lawrence originated the iconic role of Mama on “The Carol Burnett Show” in the 1970s, and the character was so popular that she was given her own spinoff show “Mama’s Family” in the 1980s.

For the last two decades, Lawrence has continued to play Mama at live shows all over the country, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to put that on hold for the past few years. Now that the pandemic is under control, Lawrence is making her triumphant return to performing, and she couldn’t be happier about it!

‘I Just Started Crying’

“The first time I did go out on stage it was so good to see people’s faces I just started crying,” Lawrence, 73, told MSN from her home in Long Beach, California. “It was so nice to see people again.”

“I decided that Mama would come out in a big ole mask and spray the audience. ‘I don’t know where you people have been,’” she continued, using Mama’s trademark southern twang. “So that was fun. But after I did that a few times I decided, I don’t think I want to remind people of COVID. Let’s just laugh. Let’s just forget this.”

While Mama is scripted at these shows, Lawrence added, “I think more like Mama as I get older. I think you’ve reached the age not to mince words, just say it like it is.”

Watch a hilarious video of Lawrence interviewing her alter ego of Mama below. 

Related: Betty White Uttered This Powerful Last Word Says ‘Carol Burnett Show’ Star Vicki Lawrence

Lawrence’s New Show

Lawrence sees her show as a two-women show because the first half of it involves her taking the stage as herself and reminiscing about her decades-long career. Then, in the second half, she throws on her Mama outfit and performs as that character. Burnett, who was Lawrence’s mentor, did a similar format she recently performed two sold-out shows.  

“My half of the show doesn’t change as much, because it’s sort of autobiographical,” Lawrence explained. “I think it’s all of the things that people would ask me if I were to do questions and answers, like Carol. That doesn’t change as much as Mama changes, as the world is changing.”

Mama got her start in a “Carol Burnett Show” skit that was titled “The Family,” which revolved around a nasty mother fighting with her daughter Eunice. Lawrence was only 24 at the time, but Burnett felt that she was the right person to play Mama, so she gave her the part after being encouraged to do so by her co-star Harvey Korman.

“Mama was actually written for Carol, and Eunice was the character that spoke to her,” Lawrence recalled. “So I just consider Mama yet another gift from Carol. Harvey said to me all the time, man, you got the part, kiddo. The mother is the nuts and bolts of the family.”

Related: Carol Burnett Reveals Why She Fired Harvey Korman From ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ In Season 7

Would Lawrence Work With Burnett Again?

Palm Springs Life asked Lawrence earlier this week if she would ever consider working again with Burnett, who is now 89 years old.  

“Well, that would be up to Carol,” Lawrence replied. “You know, I think she’s pretty close to calling it quits. God knows, I would do anything she asked me to do. Ever. We’re very close. I see her as often… Well, I haven’t seen her lately because it’s been so crazy, but yeah, we’re very close, and I would love to work with her, but I don’t know. That would be her call.”

Fans would certainly love to see Burnett and Lawrence perform together again! Until that potentially happens, we’re glad to see that Lawrence is able to do shows again and that the legendary Mama is still alive and well. 

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