U.S. premium cable network HBO has picked up the American broadcast and home video rights for the Whoopi Goldberg-directed documentary Moms Mabley: I Got Something To Tell You.
The film, which marks the veteran comedian and actor’s directorial debut, explores the life and legacy of African-American stand-up comic Jackie “Moms” Mabley (pictured above) using recently re-discovered photos and performance footage, as well as interviews with actors and comedians such as Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Kathy Griffin, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.
Mabley’s routines regularly tackled issues such as racism, gender and sex, earning her a reputation as one of the edgier acts of the 1950s and 1960s. She died in 1975.
“Moms Mabley has been a huge inspiration to me and so many others, but not a lot of folks outside of the comedy world know about her legacy,” Goldberg said in a statement. “There are a lot of us who wouldn’t be working today without pioneers like her. HBO gave me my first break on TV, so it’s only fitting that Moms has a home there now.”
The film will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this Saturday (April 20) and air on HBO later in the year. It was executive produced by Goldberg, Tom Leonardis and George Schlatter.