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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Rarely seen series from the 70's starring Clifton Davis

Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
25 March 2004

This is a show that needs to be seen again! This was one of the lost forever sitcoms of the 1970's that had African-American characters in prominent roles. However,the 1970's rolled-out a ton of quality-themed African-American shows,which some were instant hits and classics like "Sanford and Son","The Jeffersons","Good Times",What's Happening?",to the ones that were good but only lasted one season like,"Baby,I'm Back", "Rollout","Get Christie Love",and not to mention,"That's My Mama".

And the ones that didn't last long,quickly faded into our memories. However,one of those shows,"That's My Mama",provided some good laughs and some hilarious hijinks. Clifton Curtis(Clifton Davis)is barbershop owner who lives in Washington,DC who shares a house with his mother Eloise(Theresa Merritt)and his sister Tracy(played by Lynne Moody in the early episodes and then later by Joan Pringle)was married to Leonard ,a stiff,unhip accountant(played by Lisle Wilson in the earlier episodes). Clifton's friends were Earl(Teddy Wilson),a mailman who later became his partner in the barbershop,and Junior(Ted Lange),a boisterous college student. Wildcat(Jester Hairston) and Josh(DeForest Covan)were two senior citizens who hung out in the barbershop,just for conversation and sometimes mischief. Theresa Merritt's character of Eloise,was billed as the main character,but the focus was more on Clifton and the comical support was more on Junior,who supplied most of the hijinks on the show. Eloise was basically the mentor who basically gave advice whenever the other characters got into trouble,and it most of the time she had to bail Clifton out of a tight situation.

This series was the starting point of for two of its actors,since after this series went off the air,Clifton Davis and Jester Hairston would star together in the series "Amen" which ran on NBC-TV during the mid-1980's,early 1990's. Also it is to note that actor Ted Lange would go on to "The Love Boat" as Issac,and would make himself known as an great director of several TV and movie projects. It is also interesting to note that actress Joan Pringle would go on to do "The White Shadow",and later on in the late-1980's make her mark in the all-black daytime serial,"Generations". As for actor Teddy Wilson,most viewers would recognize him as the street hustler Sweet Daddy from "Good Times" who would make several appearances not on "Good Times",but other black shows of that decade including appearances on "The Jeffersons",and "What's Happening!"

It is sad to note that Teddy Wilson,Theresa Merritt,Jester Hairston,and DeForest Cowan are no longer with us. There memories of this show will lived on,since "That's My Mama" is seldom seen in syndicated markets in repeats,probably because it only lasted one season when it ran on ABC-TV from 1974-1975. Only 39 episodes were produced on this series.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

One of the Lost 1970's African-American sitcoms

Author: hillari from Chicago, USA
11 December 2000

While it was never as popular as the more well known African-American sitcoms of the 1970s (Sanford and Son, Good Times, What's Happening?), That's My Mama provided some good laughs. Clifton Curtis (Clifton Davis) was a Washington DC barber who shared a house with his mother, Eloise (Theresa Merritt). His sister Tracy (played by Joan Pringle in early episodes, and later by Lynne Moody) was married to Leonard, a stiff, unhip accountant. Clifton's friends were Earl (Teddy Wilson), a mailman who later became his partner in the barbershop, and Junior (Ted Lange), a boisterous junior college student. Wildcat (Jester Hairston) and Josh (DeForest Covan) were two senior citizens who hung out in the barbershop. Eloise was billed as the main character, but the focus was more on Clifton. Eloise basically gave advice whenever the other characters got into trouble.

It's interesting to note that both Clifton Davis and Jester Hairston went on to star together in the early 1990's sitcom, Amen. Sharp-eyed television viewers will also recognize Teddy Wilson as having made several appearances on "Good Times" as the street hustler, Sweet Daddy. That's My Mama is seldom shown in reruns, probably because it only lasted a couple of seasons.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Another Short Lived Black Sitcom

Author: leighabc123 from Portsmouth, Virginia
6 August 2004

This show was so crazy back in the day! Theresa Merritt was so funny. And Theodore Wilson was almost as funny as he was playing "Sweet Daddy" on Good Times. Clifton Davis and Jester Hairston were on this show together way before they were Amen together. And it was so cool to see Ted Lange playing Junior. Every episode, Junior would say "Oooooooooooooooooooooo! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" I didn't like the fact that they had two different guys playing the role of Clifton Davis' brother in law in the show. I used to look forward to watching this show every evening when I was in the 4th grade. This was another great black sitcom that they stopped showing reruns of.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

the predecessor of "Barbershop"

Author: saturngoddess1230 from United States
28 July 2005

as a teenage girl in 1974, i used to watch "That's My Mama" just so i could see the handsome (ok fine) Clifton Davis do his magic in the shop and also for "Junior" (Ted Lange) to whirl into the shop with his famous "oooooooweeeeeeee! i got it, i got it, and i got to re-port it!" --- cracked me up every time. personally, i think that this show was the predecessor for the hit movie "Barbershop" only with more characters.

the second season of "TMM" kinda started going downhill, however the opening theme music was a little more R&B oriented and nicely performed by Lamont Dozier (one of the songwriters that made up the Holland-Dozier-Holland team at Motown, who were famous for making hit songs for the Supremes in the early 60s). i hope one day TV Land or Nick-at-Nite or TVOne will find these gems and show them again for those of us who remember it to enjoy once again.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I got to report it!

Author: ( from Chicago, IL
28 July 2004

Ted Lange was extremely funny on this show. His catch phrase was long excellent: "I got it, I got it, and I got to report it!" I wish Ted were given more opportunities to show his great abilities to go over the top. I just checked online and there are no references to his catch phrase on the Internet! I'm going to change that and post it somewhere, because this must live on. I think that if more people knew about Ted's abilities then he would have been one of the very top stars of the 1970s...instead, he made it as a major figure -- and I should at least be grateful for that. I wish Ted's catch phrase were as popular as his pointing with index fingers.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An excellent sitcom of the 70's

Author: brigdon-1 from Dallas, Texas
22 February 2004

I have (4) episodes of this sitcom on tape but would like to communicate with others that may have some of these extremely hard to find episodes on tape. Episodes of another black sitcom from the 1970's was just recently put on DVD. Maybe someone in the film vault, will someday, pull out some of these episodes for syndication or DVD.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:


Author: anonymous from North America
17 July 1999

Clifton Davis coped quite well as the straight man son in this all-black comedy show. He was let down by Theresa Merritt, who was always weak in the title role of Mama. Ted Lange provided some comic relief as Junior, but he did not really start to shine until he joined the crew of the Love Boat.

I don't believe this show was ever rerun, so these recollections are a quarter century old.

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