After singing and joking as herself, 62-year-old actress and singer Vicki Lawrence transformed into her old stand-up gig as Mama for the main event of the Life boomers and seniors expo on Saturday.
“Let’s talk about President Obama,” Lawrence said taking on the crass, Southern persona.
“Oh yeah,” attendee Harold Murphree said, “bring it on.”
She followed by offering advice to the about 2,000-member crowd on a number of national issues such as transportation, FEMA and the BP oil spill.
Women, she said, should be in charge of oil drilling operations because: They know you can’t just jump in and start drilling. They know you can slow down. And, she said, they know when to pull out.
To which, Murphree and his wife, Lucille Blair, laughed.
Tonya Lively, standing with her 14-year-old daughter, Kendall, exclaimed her approval.
“Oh, she’s hilarious!” she said after one joke.
After another joke, Lively said, “Oh, dear,” as she covered her face with her hands trying to suppress her laughter.
Lively said she watched Lawrence on “The Carol Burnett Show” as a child and on “Mama’s Family” in the 1980s.
Now, her daughter says she’s going to look for re-runs on TV.
“I came to see Mama,” Lively said.
After Lawrence let out an expletive, Lively said, “Though, I could do without the cursing.”
Ticket sellers ran out of bracelets to give attendees, according to Jason Taylor, president of the Chattanooga Times Free Press and Chattanooga Publishing Co., which hosted the event.
He said he thinks this show might have had an attendance even higher than the inaugural event last year with Betty White.
“[Lawrence] was quite a hoot, on stage and off stage,” Taylor said.
The rest of the event featured vendors showing off services and products.
Andrew Pantazi is an intern at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who says that when he was 7 he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, he says he wasn't any good at hockey, so he became a journalist instead. He writes about the lives we hide, like the man who suffered a stroke but smiled, or the football walk-on who endured 5 ...