Richard Pryor – Where does STAND-UP comedy come from?

81-h7rS5ZKL._SL1500_I think Mr. Pryor was one of the funniest men on Earth. He’s cracked me up with his stories. So, today our spotlights are on this funny man who opened doors to many other African-American comedians: Richard Pryor. 

So to set us off, read this summarize yet important introductory text about Mr. Pryor:

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was born on December 1, 1940 and passed on December 10, 2005. This funny man was an African-American comedian, actor, film director, social critic, satirist, writer, and MC (Master of Ceremonies).

Mr. Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities and profanity, as well as racial epithets – derogatory words used to insult people, e.g.: nigger, wetbacks, chonky. wops, japs, spic… He reached a broad audience with his observations and storytelling style. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time. 

In this 1982 performance, comedian Richard Pryor makes fun of his well-known difficulties with cocaine.
In this 1982 performance, comedian Richard Pryor makes fun of his well-known difficulties with cocaine.
01 Feb 1973, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Richard Pryor --- Image by © Michael Ochs Archives/Corbis
01 Feb 1973, Los Angeles, California, USA — Richard Pryor — Image by © Michael Ochs Archives/Corbis

Due to the way he talked – bad words and explicit vocabulary – parents did not really allow children to watch his shows but you know how it is, right! Whenever children are forbidden to do something, they get very curious. It has been on Everybody Hates Chris show a couple times. Watch them below:

Also:

Believe me, Pryor influenced millions of African Americans and he is still considered one of the most hilarious stand-up comedians.  I am not going to take any more of your precious time. So, you now have a chance to experience bits of his shows and appearances while he was alive, thank God!

Hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have! Who else do you consider an icon of comedy?

This material has been selected, adapted, analyzed, and put together by Rodrigo P. Honorato


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