A True Comedy Legend Has Passed Away
Richard Pryor, one of the most versatile & gifted comedians of all time, has passed away at the age of 65, leaving the world of comedy and entertainment the world over in mourning today.
I, like most of you have extremely fond memories of a lot of Richard’s work, which spanned over 40 years in the business, including everything from co-writing Mel Brook’s 1974 Western spoof, “Blazing Saddles”, to being the first comedian responsible for “Saturday Night Live” initiating a 5 second delay in it’s broadcast for the first and only time in history. Other notable credits include writing for “The Flip Wilson Show” in the early 70’s, playing Sharp Eye Washington in 1974’s “Uptown Saturday Night”, playing “The Wiz” in 1978’s film, 1983’s “Superman 3″ – for which he became the highest paid African-American at that time, “Brewster’s Millions”, his long standing friendship with Gene Wilder paired him in “Stir Crazy”, “Silver Streak”, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” & “Another You”. Many fans consider his greatest film to be 1989’s “Harlem Nights”, in which Eddie Murphy both wrote the lead role, and directed his life-long idol in the role as nightclub owner, Sugar Ray.
Pryor’s greatest recognition however, comes from his long career in stand-up comedy, including “Richard Pryor: Live On the Sunset Strip”, “Richard Pryor: Here & Now”, and showing his trademark humor right until the end of his career, “Richard Pryor: I Ain’t Dead Yet, #*%$#@!!”, a tribute special recorded in 2003.
Many tales have been told about his infamous bouts with drug abuse through the years, and the ravages of multiple sclerosis from the late 1980’s, but like any truly gifted performer, these things are always distant in the minds of any of his fans, because Richard Pryor most wanted people to laugh, and in that end, his life’s work was the greatest success of all.