(PHOTOS were shot by Sandy Zimmerman during the show)
Although this was the first time I saw Vicki Lawrence live on stage, I have sat laughing at her jokes while watching the Carol Burnett Show and Mama’s Family television programs for years. She has that “take it or leave it, I don’t care” quality in her jokes and just seems to say what she wants even though it could be outrageous at times. I enjoyed the way she leads into her jokes with stories that seem to make the jokes funnier. It was a time to ponder life as she saw it and her views were different from the norm.
Vicki has an attitude and likes to express herself but it is all in fun. The jokes were as fresh as Vicki. She told us about her hilarious experience being examined by an OBGYN physician, discussed her views about health, nutrition, fads, and even included her husband. Even the subject of moving can be hilarious when she tells her story.
Vicki was discovered by Carol Burnett. She was one of eight entrants in the Fire Department’s Miss Fireball singing contest at the Hollywood Park Race Track during her senior year in high school. Two weeks prior to the contest, a newspaper story ran comparing Vicki’s striking resemblance to young Carol Burnett. Although she always felt it would be great to look like Mary Tyler Moore, everyone always noticed that Vicki could have been Carol’s relative.
Vicki wrote a fan letter to Carol Burnett enclosing the article with her picture. Looking for an actress to play her little sister on the Carol Burnett Show, Carol called Vicki saying she would attend the contest. When Vicki won, fate interceded bringing her a new career on Carol’s famous television show. The Carol Burnett Show premiered in the fall of 1967. Vicki spent eleven years with Carol, earning one Emmy Award and five Emmy nominations. In 1995, Simon and Schuster published her autobiography entitled “Vicki: The True Life Adventures of Miss Fireball”. She had a keen sense of comedy, timing and outstanding talent.
Vicki held the stage as herself then took a short break while we watched excerpts from Carol’s and Vicki’s shows. She returned wearing mama’s wig and outfit. Her personality and demeanor changed completely. Vicki was truly mama, the woman we remembered so well. Born in Inglewood, California, Vicki Lawrence’s singing and dancing talents were recognized early. From 1965 to 1967, she appeared with the Young Americans musical group and in the feature film The Young Americans which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary. The South Point Hotel always has an exciting line-up of weekly entertainment in their showroom: www.vickilawrence.comwww.southpointcasino.com
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