With her floppy hat and flapping gums, Jackie "Moms" Mabley is mostly remembered these days for her outrageous appearances on late-'60s and '70s-era variety and talk shows, as mainstream as Ed Sullivan and as of-the-moment as the Smothers Brothers, performing racy and politically barbed stand-up routines whose sting was couched in a dirty-old-lady's guise.
Among those influenced by Mabley was Whoopi Goldberg, who performed an homage to the comedian early in her own career. In the HBO documentary Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley (Monday, 9/8c), the View personality directs and participates in this tribute to the pioneering comic's life and legacy, with TV clips and audio excerpts (enhanced with crude animation) from her many comedy albums, which hold up surprisingly well.
Question: I heard recently on the radio that folk-music promoter Harold Leventhal had passed away, and as the announcer described his life and career, I got to thinking about one of my all-time favorite movies, A Mighty Wind. To what extent, if any, is the dead folk-music promoter in the film based on Mr. Leventhal? The similarities seemed apparent to me.Answer: And to others, believe me. Harold Leventhal is widely but unofficially acknowledged as the inspiration for A Mighty Wind's (2003) Irv Steinbloom; Levanthal's clients were a who's who of celebrated folk singers, including Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez,