Ms. Pat on her Emmy-nominated ‘The Ms. Pat Show,’ working with Marla Gibbs

Season four just arrived on BET+ for the Atlanta native’s sitcom

Atlanta stand-up comic Ms. Pat went through so many rough years that for her, it was a dream to be able to fictionalize her life on a TV show instead.

So far, so good: her critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated sitcom “The Ms. Pat Show” based loosely on her own life is back for a fourth season on BET+ this week.

BET+, which has more than 3 million subscribers as of summer 2023, has not released any specific data on viewership of “The Ms. Pat Show” but said it’s the streaming service’s No. 1 comedy.

“I am just thankful because I know how hard it was to get this show on TV,” Ms. Pat told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a recent Zoom interview.

Fox and Hulu originally tried to develop the show but dropped it before BET+ finally gave her a chance. “I knew I would get a home but did I know I’d make it four seasons in? No!” she said.

On the surface, the made-in-Atlanta “The Ms. Pat Show” looks and feels like every other family sitcom from the past seven decades, from “I Love Lucy” to “Family Matters.” It features Ms. Pat, happily married to her loyal husband Terry (J. Bernard Calloway) in suburban Indiana, her colorful but unemployed sister Denise (Tami Roman) and four kids in their teens and 20s. In the first episode of season 4, Ms. Pat even imagines her sitcom as if it were “Leave It to Beaver.”

But the content is closer to an R-rated version of “Roseanne.” Ms. Pat’s oldest son is a stripper for a living. At the end of season two, she has an abortion, a rarity in sitcom land. And there is so much cursing, a broadcast TV standards and practices executive’s ears would bleed.

Not that BET+ and Paramount gives her complete free rein. “They push back sometimes,” she said.

She fought hard, though, to make the abortion episode happen: “So many people wrote in and emailed us about how thankful we were able to do an episode like that. People are tired of just scraping the surface. Sometimes you have to go deep.”

Ms. Pat, who had two abortions as a teen, said the purpose of that storyline was to show that “you can’t tell me what to do with my body … No man should tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your body.”

Season four also addresses teen pregnancy, racism and reparations featuring actors playing white slaves. “There’s a message behind the madness,” she said. “I want people to know it wasn’t easy casting white slaves.”

In the end, “The Ms. Pat Show” delivers both heart and humor, a killer combination for any sitcom.

And Ms. Pat insists on the extra expense of having a live studio audience. “It makes a difference,” she said. “I’m a comedian. I need that crowd to see what punches what doesn’t. I love it.”

Her admiration for classic sitcoms shines through with her guest stars. For an episode last season, Ms. Pat featured 92-year-old Marla Gibbs, best known for her sassy maid Florence on “The Jeffersons.”

“She was so sharp,” she said. “One thing about ‘The Ms. Pat Show’ is we are changing the script daily, writing new punchlines, making it stronger. She got the new lines. She was outdoing us young people.”

Credit: AJC

Atlanta comic Ms. Pat talks about fourth season of 'The Ms. Pat Show,' Marla Gibbs, Jaleel White

Ms. Pat has also brought in sitcom stars of yore for recurring roles like Jaleel White (“Family Matters”) and Janet Hubert (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”).

She also called up her stand-up buddy Don “DC” Curry to play a famous comic on the show who uses cocaine, cheats on his wife and steals jokes from her. “He asked me which comic this was based on,” Ms. Pat said. “I said, ‘I’ll never tell you!’”

J. Bernard Calloway as Terry Carson and Ms. Pat as a fictional version of herself in "The Ms. Pat Show" on BET+. BET+

Credit: Isaac Sabetai

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Credit: Isaac Sabetai

And like Steve Harvey, the 52-year-old Atlanta native is now a TV judge, robe and all, in BET+’s “Ms. Pat Settles It,” where she resolves small claims cases.

Ms. Pat said there is irony to her being a fake judge since she was once a cocaine dealer and spent a year in prison as a teenager. The show also features a celebrity “jury” with the likes of Tamar Braxton, Ray J and shame. Season one is out, and she just finished shooting season two in Atlanta.

“The first year I was scared because I didn’t know what I was doing but this year, it went by like that,” she said.

Ms. Pat is also planning to tour with Martin Lawrence on a few dates starting in November, coming to State Farm Arena on March 7, 2025. “I usually tour by myself but when someone like Martin wants you to go on tour with them, you can’t really say no,” she said.

She also spent last year on the V-103 morning show with Big Tigger and Shamea Morton. “It was great,” she said. “I enjoyed working with Shamea and V-103 … I told them I couldn’t return, then the contract ended. I was hardly ever there anyway. Things were picking up so much, I had to skip a lot of days.”

In the meantime, her primary goal is to keep “The Ms. Pat Show” going as long as possible. “Keep your fingers crossed for a fifth season,” she said. “I’m ready to go!”


“The Ms. Pat Show”

All four seasons are available on BET+