Mama's Family aired from January 1983 until September 1984 and September 1986 until September 1990 on NBC and first run syndication.
Mama's Family mined comedy from a squabbling family in the midwestern blue-collar suburb of Raytown. The noisy clan was headed by Mama Thelma Harper ( Vicki Lawrence), a boxum, grey-haired widow with sharp opinions and a sharper tongue who shared her small house with her high-strung sister, Fran ( Rue McClanahan), a journalist for a local paper. Mama's lazy, dim-witted son, Vint ( Ken Berry), a locksmith by trade, moved in at the start of the series with his troublesome teenage children, Buzz and Sonja ( Eric Brown, Karen Argoud), after his wife ran off to become a Las Vegas showgirl. Must to Mama's disgust, Vint soon took up with the flirtatious neighbor , Naomi ( Dorothy Lyman), who Mama referred to as " that floozy." The two were married in early 1983 and Naomi moved in too. Further uproar was caused by the periodic visits of Mama's two married daughters, the foulmouthed Eunice ( Carol Burnett) and the snobbish Ellen ( Betty White). Ed ( Harvey Korman ) was Eunice's dolt of a husband.
The program was based on a series of sketches originally seen on The Carol Burnett Show and later made into the high-rated special " Eunice" in 1982. Each episode began with a short , pompous introduction by " your host" Alistair Quince ( Harvey Korman), seen seated in his arm chair.
In the fall of 1986 Mama's Family returned to TV in first run syndication after a two year hiatus, although some cast changes had been made. Fran had recently passed away ( Rue McClanahan was starring on NBC's The Golden Girls at the time and did not return to the series. Likewise , Betty White was also starring on the Golden Girls although she did make one more guest appearance as Ellen). Meanwhile Ed and Eunice had moved to Florida. They had neglected to mention this to their delinquent son Bubba ( Alan Keyser) who, after serving a term in juvenile hall for car theft, ended up living with Mama in Fran's old room, much to the consternation of Naomi and Vint who thought they were getting it. Vint's children Buzz and Sonja had disappeared also with hardly a mention. Iola ( Beverly Archer) was the prissy neighbor and Thelma's best friend who barely conceiled 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 Vint with a bouncing baby girl named after his mama-Tiffany Thelma. They had moved out of the house but not out of her shadow as they were now in a trailer on her property.
Here is Harvey Korman's Obituary from The New York Times
Harvey Korman of ‘Burnett Show’ Dies at 81
By BRUCE LAMBERT
Published: May 30, 2008
Harvey Korman, the award-winning comedic actor who rose to fame playing second banana to Carol Burnett on her television variety series and who starred in hit movies like “Blazing Saddles” and “High Anxiety,” died on Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 81.
A tall man known for his outlandish characterizations, Mr. Korman was nominated for seven Emmys for his television work and won four. He also was nominated for four Golden Globe awards, winning one.
“Everything he did on ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ especially the Mother Marcus character, was a special favorite,” his daughter, Katherine Korman, said in an interview on Thursday. Mother Marcus, which he played in drag, “was a Yiddish grandmother based on his own real-life grandmother,” she said.
Mr. Korman also considered Hedley Lamarr, his role in the 1974 film “Blazing Saddles,” as one of his favorites, she said.
A native of Chicago, Mr. Korman studied drama there and then tried, unsuccessfully, to break into show business in New York City.
"For the next 13 years I tried to get on Broadway, on off-Broadway, under or beside Broadway," he said in an 1971 interview.
Eventually he gave up and returned to Chicago, but he later went to California to try again. After subsisting as a car salesman and movie doorman, in the mid-1960s he began getting minor movie parts, doing voice-overs as the Great Gazoo on “The Flintstones” and winning a TV spot on “The Danny Kaye Show.”
The Kaye show, which he joined in 1964, proved to be a springboard. It went off the air in 1967, but Mr. Korman soon landed a job on the Burnett show, which turned into his breakthrough. He was a natural fit with Ms. Burnett, and their weekly comedy sketches won high ratings for the show and a national audience for him.
Their performing partnership lasted for a decade, and both of their television careers faltered after they split. He became the host of “The Harvey Korman Show,” which ended after one season. Ms. Burnett acquired a new cast member in Dick Van Dyke, but that partnership did not have the same chemistry. Her show ended soon after.
Crediting Ms. Burnett for giving him an opportunity, Mr. Korman once said: "We were an ensemble, and Carol had the most incredible attitude. I’ve never worked with a star of that magnitude who was willing to give so much away."
Ms. Burnett “loved Harvey very much," according to her assistant, Angie Horejsi, The Associated Press reported.
Mr. Korman’s career was far from over after he left the Burnett show. He appeared as a guest star in dozens of television series, specials and movies as recently as 2004. His roles covered a range of styles and included voice-overs in “Garfield and Friends,” Bud Abbott in “Bud and Lou,” co-host of “The Flintstones’ 25th Anniversary Celebration” and a guest appearance on “ER.”
Mel Brooks cast him not only in “Blazing Saddles” and “High Anxiety,” but also in “History of the World: Part I” (1981) and “Dracula: Dead and Loving It” (1995). His film career also included “Huckleberry Finn” (1974), “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” (1976), “Curse of the Pink Panther” (1983), “The Flintstones” (1994) and “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” (2000).
Mr. Korman reunited with a Burnett alumnus, Tim Conway, and toured the country to give live performances, reprising skits from the old shows as well as creating new material. “They had a private jet and went all over,” Katherine Korman said.
Mr. Korman had two children, Maria and Christopher, by his first marriage, to Donna Elhart, and two more children, Katherine and Laura, by his second marriage, to Deborah Fritz.
Even when off stage and off camera, Mr. Korman still loved to clown, his daughter Katherine said. “He was always funny in real life,” she said. “He would like to see how far he could push the limits, making people laugh. If he were here now, he would want us to be joking.”
This photo gallery contains pictures for sitcoms of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and today We also have photo galleries for dramas, soaps, reality shows, animated series/cartoons, game shows, variety shows, talk shows and late night tv photo galleries. Visit Sitcoms Online for sitcom news, message boards, links, theme songs, and more.
To upload photos, please choose the appropriate category and login with your existing message board username and password. If you are new, you will need to register before uploading any photos. Only ".jpg" files will upload - ".jpeg", ".gif", ".png" or any other image format will not work. You will need to convert them to ".jpg". Please upload only sitcom and tv related photos.
If you have any questions, comments, requests for new categories, etc. - please contact us.
To request any photos be removed, please use the "Report Photo" link that is the bottom of every photo if you are registered and logged in. This is the quickest and easiest method. You can also send an e-mail with the url(s) of the photo(s). We will also gladly credit or link to any site that is the original source of any photos.
All images, logos, and other materials are copyright their respective owners. No rights are given or implied.