Thelma Mae Harper (nee Crowley), also known as Mama, is a fictional character played by American actress Vicki Lawrence. She is a senior citizen who has lived in an unspecified part in the Southern United States for her entire life which is evident by the southern drawl of her speech and her customs. She is an exaggerated version of a prototype middle twentieth century lower middle class grandmother in the southern United States. Vicki Lawrence, the actress who originated Mama, born in 1949, created Mama in the mid-seventies and undoubtedly based Mama on actual grandmother figures she knew while growing up in the 50's and 60's. Mama first appeared as a supporting character in The Family sketches on The Carol Burnett Show which aired on CBS from 1967 until 1978. In 1982, Eunice (film) was a made for TV movie based on ""The Family"" sketches characters. Mama's Family (first on NBC, then revolutionized in first-run syndication), and finally in the ongoing Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show. With Lawrence continuing to play the role into the present day, the ""Mama"" character has made numerous other post-television show appearances, such as on Hollywood Squares; The Talk; ""Larry the Cable Guy's Christmas Spectacular"" (2007); ""Betty White's 2nd Annual 90th Birthday"" (February 5, 2013); The Queen Latifah Show (May 20, 2014) etc.Lawrence performed on The Carol Burnett Show for 11 seasons. In the 7th season in 1974, The Family skit was created, which debuted the ""Mama"" role. Four years after The Carol Burnett show ended, the TV-movie-special Eunice (the character of Mama's daughter) was broadcast. The special included the key characters from The Family sketches, including Mama. The skit turned movie was spun off for a third time with a sitcom that surrounded the ""Mama"" character. Mama's Family has two contrasting lives. This is as result of the show's cancellation from NBC after one and a half seasons (1983 to 1984). In 1986, the program was relaunched in first-run syndication, where it enjoyed a highly successful second life all the way to its series finale in 1990.By the ""Mama"" character's full development on the second life of Mama's Family, Thelma had spent much of her time tending to the housework and nurturance of her loved ones, constantly engaged in cooking, cleaning, and providing loving support to her family. She ruled the roost with a smart mouth and snappy retorts; an explosively quick temper; and a brash, rough and abrasive manner. Mama solved most of her problems with a can of budweiser; a purse whack; an object slam; a shove; a startling shout; and a healthy dose of wisecracking insults and criticisms.""Carol Burnett was originally supposed to play the ""Mama"" character while Lawrence was to play her daughter, but because Burnett's desire to swap roles, Lawrence played Mama. In her autobiography, Vicki called Thelma ""the only role which I got to go to makeup to get ugly!"" It is Lawrence's most well-known role.