Mama's Family Episode #130
Series Finale: "Bye-Bye -- Baby!"

      The Cast Includes:

Thelma (Mama)      Vicki Lawrence
Vint Harper        Ken Berry
Naomi Harper       Dorothy Lyman
Bubba Higgins      Allan Kayser
Iola Boyland       Beverly Archer

We enter the final episode of Mama's Family with Naomi's rounded belly reminding us she's pregnant. Vint's leaving for work and, Naomi, absolutely certain the baby is coming soon, is worried that he won't be there when the time arrives.

In an effort to calm Naomi down (who in this episode drops her typical high-pitched comedic squealing for a more realistic panic), Mama tells her about how wonderfully smooth Vint's birth had gone. As any loyal viewer knows, Thelma's husband Carl was anything but helpful and dependable. Mama frequently referred to him as a deadbeat and a lazy bum, so it's only a matter of time before the real story comes out.

While Naomi is resting (in a trailer she calls her "love nest" parked in Thelma's driveway), Mama tells Iola what really happened--namely that she'd been forced to take a bus to the hospital. Carl, as the running gag on the show goes, refused to come out of the bathroom when Thelma screamed for him that she'd gone into labor.

The story told, we see just how wrong things can go. Mama's live-in grandson Bubba is running around the house for exercise, Vint is MIA, and Naomi is more preoccupied with getting her makeup and hot curlers than having the baby. In usual Harper House fashion, the simultaneous distractions create both laughter from the audience and a hearty scream from Mama. Vint gets home just in the nick of time, but as he's going to pull his truck around for Naomi, gets nervous and crashes into Mama's car. All the excitement causes him to faint, leaving Mama to take care of her ex-floozy daughter-in-law.

Mama boils water and serves as midwife to Naomi, who delivers a beautiful baby girl in the back of the darkened trailer. The two women are sharing a rare moment of warmth as Vint, Bubba and Iola return to the action. Vint suggests they name the baby Thelma in honor of Mama, while Naomi wants to call the girl Tiffany. After one last Mama-driven quibble, the less-than-perfect childbirth becomes worthwhile as Tiffany Thelma Harper becomes the newest edition to Mama's Family.

This episode is rarely played in syndication. I've only seen it twice and, although it's a fine series finale, #130 seems a little darker to me than the others, for lack of a better explanation. Perhaps it has to do with the scenes shot in the trailer, which are in stark contrast to the bright, airy feeling in the Harper House.

Some of the information was jogged from my memory by

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