The African American comedian, who rose to fame in the 1920s, remained a major presence in comedy until her death in 1975. Goldberg says researching Mabley made her realize what an important presence Mabley was not only in comedy but also in black history.
“She loved to tell stories. She and Richard Pryor for me are the two folks who really influenced me,” Goldberg explains on “Good Morning America.” “There’s something about Moms, and the more I watch this the more I really do see myself, which is kind of scary. … You suddenly realize, ‘Oh I need to up my game because the game was up here to begin with.'”
According to Goldberg, she’s considering taking the persona of Mabley back to Broadway for a performance in the future.
“I am at some point going to get back on stage with her, because it’s fun for me and then no one will be mad at me if I miss my lines,” she says.
Goldberg’s documentary about Mabley premieres on HBO on Nov. 18 at 9 p.m.