Who Was Moms Mabley? The First Successful Female Stand-Up Comedian, That's Who
"Born Loretta Mary Aiken, she was a pioneer in her field - a black woman who pushed the boundaries of taste, politics, and race as far back as the 1920s, while performing on the Chitlin' Circuit. ... Her career extended well into the '70s, leaving behind a legacy of over 20 albums, and memorable appearances" on Ed Sullivan's, Johnny Carson's and the Smothers Brothers' television shows. Yet most people born after 1970 have never heard of her.
Slate 04/24/13 (includes video)