Mama's Family

Mama's Family: Season 1

Warner Bros. (1983)
USA | English | Color | 4h 38min

Mama's Family mined humor from a squabbling family in the Midwestern blue collar suburb of Raytown. The noisy clan was headed by Mama, a buxom, gray-haired widow with sharp opinions and a sharper tongue who shared her small house with her high-strung sister Fran, a journalist for a local paper. Mama's lazy, dimwitted son, Vint, a locksmith by trade, moved in at the start of the series with his troublesome teenage children, Buzz and Sonja, after his wife run off to become a Las Vegas show-girl. Much to Mama's disgust, Vint soon took up with the flirtatious neighbor Naomi. The two where married in early 1983, and Naomi moved in too. Further uproar was caused by the periodic visits from Mama's two married daughter's, the foul mouthed Eunice and the snobbish Ellen. Ed was Eunice's Dolt of a husband. In the Fall of 86 Mama's Family returned to TV in first-run syndication. Fran had recently passed (Rue McClanahan was now starring in The Golden Girls) and Ed and Eunice had moved to Flor

Cast View all

Rue McClanahan Francis Crawley
Vicki Lawrence Mrs. Thelma Crowley Harper
Ken Berry Vinton Harper
Dorothy Lyman Naomi Oates Harper
Eric Brown Vinton "Buzz" Harper, Jr.
Harvey Korman Ed Higgins
Carol Burnett Eunice Higgins
Betty White Ellen Harper Jackson
Vicki Lawrence Thelma Louise Crowley-Harper
Dorothy Van Effie Harper
Beverly Archer Iola Lucille Boylen
Allan Kayser Bubba Higgins
Karin Argoud Sonja Harper
Beverly Archer Iola Lucille Boyland

Crew View all

Director Jim Cox
Roger Beatty
Writer Beverly Archer, Cindy Begel
Producer Jim Evering, Neil Lebowitz

Episodes View details

1 Vint and the Kids Move In 30 min | Jan 22, 1983

Mama's in a hurry to get to the mall for a sale and tries to hurry Fran along to finish eating. But before that can happen Fran's boss at the newspaper calls. Telling her she has to come in and re-edit her latest story. Mama is obviously upset because she can't drive and has no way to get to the sale. Meanwhile Vinton, Mama's only son, drops by the house and announces that he and the kids have been evicted from their house. Now he's hoping that he, his daughter Sonja, and his son Buzz, can stay with Mama until he gets back on his feet. Against Fran's wishes Mama agrees. Vint gets the basement, Buzz gets the attic, and Sonja gets Fran's writing studio because she refuses to sleep on the couch. Fran is outraged by this, and her and Mama have a huge argument about it. Fran's mood turns even more sour when she finds out Sonja stumbled up on the book that she'd been working on recently and reads it. Fran says it's an invasion of her privacy and finally makes the decision that she'll move out. Because she can't take the stress anymore. Of course Mama had no idea that Fran was actually writing in her studio. But later as things settle down a bit, her and Mama have a heart to heart and she changes her mind and decides to stay after all.

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman
Writer: Dick Clair, Jenna McMahon
2 For Better or for Worse 30 min | Jan 29, 1983

After many years of not seeing each other, since high school, Vinton and Mama's next door neighbor Naomi Oates are reunited. They become quite close and Vint tells her that he had a big crush on her in high school. After coming home from the Bigger Jigger at 2 in the morning, Naomi and Vint go down to the basement to look at Vint's collection of TV Guides (25 years worth). Naomi remarks on how cute Mr. Ed is because that was her favorite show. They end up sleeping together and the next morning, while Mama and Fran are in the kitchen having breakfast, Naomi attempts to sneak out and is caught. Mama throws a fit and is outraged at Vint. Naomi, who had just sold her house, asks Vint to come with her to Arizona to run a trailer park because the job wants a husband and wife. Vint agrees and lets everyone know that he and Naomi plan on getting married and moving to Arizona. Mama is so shocked that she tells them that they can have the wedding at her house.

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman
Writer: Rick Hawkins, Liz Sage
3 The Wedding (Part 1) 30 min | Feb 05, 1983

Vint and Buzz go to a bachelor party in celebration of Vint's impending marriage to Naomi. Meanwhile back at the house, Fran, Ellen, and Mama are decorating the living room when Naomi arrives with a bottle of wine (which Ellen claims is cheap). They get drunk and learn that Ellen thinks her husband, Bruce, is cheating on her with his secretary Peggy. Everyone pretends to be shocked at the news, but had thought that all along and try to convince Ellen that she is wrong. She phones his office and is surprised that Bruce answers and says that Peggy is a saint for letting him keep her there that late and that Ellen didn't to wait up for him. Ellen remarks that the only thing that could ruin this day is if Eunice showed up. The ladies start taking about how Eunice wants to sing at the wedding and all agree it would be a total disaster. Eunice arrives through the back door and over hears the conversation and obviously becomes upset. Coming into the living room she looses her cool. Blabbing t

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman
Writer: Rick Hawkins, Liz Sage
4 The Wedding (Part 2) 30 min | Feb 12, 1983

The day of the wedding is at hand, and Vint and Naomi are ready to tie the knot. While Eunice still wants to sing her solo, she first asks Vint who says she'll have to talk to Naomi about it. Mama then gives Vint his daddy's ring as a wedding present, problem is Eunice thinks it's her ring, because Carl always wanted her to have it. While Naomi is getting ready she shows Eunice the ring, saying it's something blue and she prepares to wear it around her neck. Vint and Naomi say their vows and Eunice, who is already upset at Mama for giving her ring away and has had a few to many beers, prepares to sing her solo in front of the whole crowd. She starts yelling at Mama half way thru about the ring and Mama yells back and it turns into a free-for-all, with Eunice insulting everyone and eventually Ed has to carry out. Later,Mama and Fran sit on the couch, and enjoy the peace and quiet that they now have. Vint (who decided to take the kids afterall), Naomi, and the kids have left for Arizona.

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman
Writer: Jim Evering, Dorothy Van
Guest stars: Earl Boen, Harvey Korman
5 Family Feud 30 min | Feb 19, 1983

Vinton gets an idea of taking the family (eveyone except Sonja) on to the game show Family Feud, so that they can have a chance at winning $10,000. He's even selected each person for his team for different reasons: Buzz (the teenage heartthrob), Naomi (the beauty), Mama (the sweet old lady), and Ellen and Vint as the brains of the family and could prolly win the money on their own. Ellen disagrees and says that she is the only one that is smart enough to win the money (meaning that Vint is dumb). Everyone takes a while to convince Mama to go, but she finally gives in. The opposing family is the very snooty Van Courtland's, who win the first round. Vint ends up winning the second match-up and decides to play in order to take the lead. After a short break, the point values are doubled and the Van Courtland's win the face-off and almost win the game, but Mama gets one last chance to steal. The survey question was ""What do you wind up?"" and the Harper's are telling Mama to answer with ""A m

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman
Writer: Gene Perret
Guest stars: Richard Dawson, Bernard Behrens, Georgann Johnson, Bonnie Urseth, Gene Wood, Todd Thompson, Tina Payne
6 Cellmates 30 min | Feb 26, 1983

Mama, Vint and Ed throw Eunice a suprise birthday party at the bigger jigger, problem is she's hoping for a trip to the Babalonian Roof Gardens. The birthday party soon turns ugly as Vint mentions Duke Reeves (he has a poster on the bar announcing his run for congress), who came to the house one day with flowers wanting to take Eunice out for a soda. But Mama turned him down and sent him away. Eunice starts making a huge scene about Duke being the only man she's ever loved. Vint goes to pick up Naomi and Ed goes to read the bathroom walls, when the argument escalates into an all out fight, and Eunice ends up punching a cop out and Mama wacks one with her pocket book and Mama and Eunice end up in jail. Scarlet, a hooker, arrives soon after they do and their fighting soon gets on her nerves and she tries to mediate a truce. She then tells them about her Mama and how she hated her every day, until she died and how she wished she was still living. Mama and Eunice make up just as Ed comes t

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman
Writer: Dick Clair, Jenna McMahon
Guest stars: Harvey Korman, Yvonne Wilder, Brad Trumbull, Joe Pryor
7 Mama Gets a Job 30 min | Mar 05, 1983

Mama is complaining about not having done nothing with her life, so Naomi suggests she get a job. So Mama heads down to the employment agency, and after freaking out taking the entry test, she has to go through an interview. The Clerk suggest she doesn't have much of a chance of getting a job, until she remembers Raytown Travel is looking for a new secretary. Mama takes the job and starts that Saturday. Mr. Vogelman, Mama's new boss, gives her a quick tour of her duties and leaves as Mama sets up her desk for the day. First she has trouble with the phone, not being able to get anyone to answer when she picked up (she had to push the lighted button), once she got that down, a couple came in and wanted to book a trip to Tahiti. But then the family calls, having a crisis involving Buzz' missing shoes and Sonya locking herself in the bathroom, and soon enough Mama starts being rude to everyone, and Mr. Vogelman decides she's just not the right person for the job so he fire's her.

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman, Don Emerson King
Writer: Don Emerson King
Guest stars: John Sylvester-White, Mina Kolb, Pitt Herbert, Eba Reiss Merin
8 Double Standard 30 min | Mar 12, 1983

Buzz and Sonya are getting ready for the the high school's Homecoming dance, when Vint tells the kids they both have to be in by midnight. Both complain, but Sonya (who's older) doesn't understand why she has the same curfew as Buzz. Vint says it's because she's a girl. Later Vint tells Buzz to take an extra hour if he wants. Which really upsets Sonya when she finds out, she tells Vint that she might not be back on time and storms out with her date. Vint, Mama and Fran are sitting up waiting to see if Sonya will be home on time. When Buzz comes home an hour before midnight, seems his date thought he was a jerk and dumped him for a football player. Just as Vint is getting worried, Sonya shows up still pissed and screams at Vint again. She storms off again into the kitchen and Mama follows where she finds out, Sonya had to come home, because her date had a curfew of midnight himself.

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman
Writer: Rich Orloff
Guest stars: Steve Nevil
9 Mama's Boyfriend 30 min | Mar 19, 1983

Mama is all dressed up as Fran gets back from the store and she wonders ""Who Died?"", Sonya soon asks the same question, before Mama reveals she has a date with an old beau she hasn't seen in some 40 years. Much to the family's objections Mama goes out with her old him. After staying out most of the night on there first date and having such a great time, not to mention worrying poor old Fran half to death. Woody asked Thelma to go up to the lake with him like they did 40 years ago. She readily excepts to everyone's surprise. The family protests, most notably Vint, but Mama goes anyway. When they reach the cabin Mama gets nervous and starts an argument much like she did 40 years ago. After discussing the situation over a beer they both decide they made the right decision so long ago and end up coming home earlier than either had planned.

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman
Writer: Gary Jacobs
Guest stars: William Windom
10 Fran's Dress 30 min | Mar 26, 1983

Vint, who has a bowling tournament, wants Mama to wash and iron his shirt and have dinner ready early. Then Fran, who has an awards banquet that night, asks Mama to iron the dress she plans to wear. Ellen comes by to pick Mama up and has to remind her of the her appointment she has. So Mama's is in a rush to get to her hair appointment, and she burns a whole in Fran's dress. Ellen and Mama then go to Neidermeyer's in hopes they can find the same dress. After finding it and having to pay $55 for it, Fran comes home early and try's it on. Vint then comes in and finds out Mama not only didn't fix dinner early, she didn't iron his lucky yellow shirt either. As for Fran's dress, turns out it's the wrong dress and it looks almost nothing like the other one. Fran throws a fit and her and Mama have a huge fight. In the end Fran decides to wear another dress.

Director: Roger Beatty, Harvey Korman
Writer: Jim Evering, Jerry Ross, Dorothy Van
11 Alien Marriage 30 min | Apr 01, 1983

Claude, having come up with another hair brained scheme, tells Vint that he has a good deal, and Vint could make $1600 (and Claude will make $400 for a finders fee). The plan is for Vint to marry a girl from Portugal who needs her green card to stay in the country. The Family finds out accidently, when Mr. Costa and Zenada drop by for an unannounced visit. It seems Zenada will have to stay with the family for a few days to make it look like a real marriage. Which Mama is of course flat out refusing to let her do. Mama is out bringing in the laundry, when Naomi comes over to complain about the sap falling on her car from Mama's tree. When Mama tells her about the marriage, and she tells Mama how illegal it is and how she saw it on 60 minutes. Seems Vint could get a felony for false marriage if he goes threw with it. Claude and the bride to be stop by to drop off her roll-a-way bed and a few of her things. When Mama starts screaming and manages to explain a few things. Vint begins to rea

Director: Roger Beatty
Writer: Jim Evering, Dorothy Van
Guest stars: Geoffrey Lewis, Luis Avalos, Jeannie Linero
12 Positive Thinking 30 min | Apr 29, 1983

Eunice is telling Mama how bad her life sucks, while at the same moment making everyone else's life a living hell too. That's when Buzz comes in and tells Mama about how he just made the debate team after listening to a positive thinking tape. Eunice and Mama both shrug it off as nothing, that is until Eunice gets home and Ed wants his supper, and she starts listening to the tape while she starts dinner and it begins to work. The next day Eunice shows up at Mama's house with presents and a new sunny out look. She gives Vint the old movie reels of their childhood and Naomi gets the ear rings she's been admiring. Eunice then announces she got a role in a play at the Pepper Pot Playhouse. Problem is, her rehearsal schedule conflicts with a sale that she was gonna take Mama too. So she invites Mama to go with her and go to the sale afterwards. Eunice plays ""Sadie"", a small but important part, according to Eunice. With Mama sitting by they make a run through of Eunice's lines and then the d

Director: Jim Evering, Roger Beatty, Dorothy Van, Harvey Korman
Writer: Jim Evering, Dorothy Van
Guest stars: Harvey Korman, Gloria DeHaven, Robin Bach, Hugh Douglas
13 Mama's Silver 30 min | May 06, 1983

Mama's going on about Vint's friend Claude being a bum and everything, when Ellen finally brings Mama's silver back. Mama wants Vint to put it up right then, so no one will steal it. But he first gets a call from Claude, who needs a favor. Seems Claude got in a bar fight and he's locked up in jail and needs $250 for his bail. Vint catches Ellen before she leaves and asks her, but she refuses. So he pawns Mama's silver to get the money. The next morning Mama goes to put some stuff away in the closet and discovers it's gone. She wakes Vint up and he admits he took it and pawned it. Blowing her top Mama tells Vint to get her silver back and he then tells her why he needed the money. That only serves to get her madder. In the midst of the screaming match, Vint decides to leave, and Sonya says she can stay with Nancy. So Vint goes to the basement to pack his stuff, but Mama can't stand to see him go and calls him back upstairs and in their own way they make peace, at least for a few moments

Director: Rick Hawkins, Liz Sage, Jenna McMahon, Roger Beatty
Writer: Rick Hawkins, Liz Sage
Guest stars: Geoffrey Lewis


Barcode Format Region Released Edition
012569804920 DVD 1 Sep 26, 2006 3-Disc Set
610583460391 DVD 1 Sep 11, 2013
610583519990 DVD 1 Mar 07, 2017
610583460599 DVD Sep 10, 2013