The Wrestling Episode: ‘Mama’s Family’ Wins The Tag Team Championship

01.03.18 4 months ago 18 Comments


The Wrestling Episode is our cleverly-named feature wherein we watch non-wrestling shows with wrestling episodes and try to figure out what the hell’s going on in them. You’d be surprised how many there are. You can watch the episode on DailyMotion here. If you have any suggestions on shows that need to be featured in The Wrestling Episode, let us know in our comments section below.

I’ve Never Heard Of Mama’s Family. What Is It?

Madea for white people.

Wait, Really?

In the 1970s, Vicki Lawrence was famous for two things: singing the hit murder ballad ‘The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia’, and performing on The Carol Burnett show. One of the show’s most popular recurring sketches was ‘The Family,’ in which Lawrence would put on a fat suit and an old lady wig to play Thelma Harper, a mid-western grandma asshole who “tells it like it is” and makes life miserable for Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, and occasionally Dick Van Dyke.

The character was so popular that NBC spun her off into Mama’s Family, a more traditional sitcom with other ‘The Family’ characters only showing up in guest roles. It was quietly canceled, but did well enough in syndication that it was brought back to life as first-run syndication for four more seasons. And hey, if they hadn’t gotten canceled in the middle, show regulars Betty White and Rue McClanahan might’ve been too busy to agree to do Golden Girls, had time to return for the additional seasons, and given us a dark timeline without the correct Rose or Blanche.

And There’s A Wrestling Episode?

There is, in the second life of the show. And yes, before you ask, it is about how pro wrestling is real, and how sassy mid-western grandmothers with chips on their shoulders can get into the ring and easily beat up pro wrestlers, even when they aren’t taking it seriously.

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