On This Day In Comedy… In 1974 ‘That’s My Mama’ Debuted On ABC!



On this day in comedy on September 4, 1974 That’s My Mama debuted on ABC.

Theresa Merritt was the title character of this short-lived sitcom.   Co-starring Clifton Davis as her son the show centered on the situations of a mother who wants her bachelor son to settle down and have a family.   Stop running around with young, willing, nubile females who want nothing but to have fun.  Time to get serious; not getting any younger talk.   For crying out loud – the man was 26 years old.   He worked at the barbershop he inherited from his daddy.     He had two fun-loving buddies: Earl, the mailman (played by Ed Bernard for the first two episodes and then taken over by Teddy Wilson) and Junior, the neighborhood town crier (Ted Lange).   Davis’ character had everything a man in his mid-20s could want so naturally his mother felt it was time to mess it all up with marriage.

That’s My Mama was set in Washington, DC.   Besides, the aforementioned cast the show also featured Lynne Moody as Davis’ little sister (later played by Joan Pringle) as well as DeForest Covan and Jester Hairston as local barbershop fixtures, Wildcat and Josh.  An attempt was made to spin-off some of the characters after the original went off the air, but the pilot entitled, That’s My Mama Now!! never made it to the programming schedule phase and the idea inspired by the success of the revived What’s Happening!! (What’s Happening Now!!), would be nothing more than a notion.  

That’s My Mama ran for only 39 episodes due to low ratings.    It aired its last show on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1975.

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton


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