Sunday, December 18, 2005

Richard Pryor + 1940-2005 + Rest In Peace

Comic genius Richard Pryor has suffered a heart attack and died at his hospital in Los Angeles. His health had been on the decline for many years and had been suffering with multiple sclerosis. He was 65 years old on December 1st.

At the height of Pryor's career his comic imagination brought together black and white lifestyles in a streetwise fashion and told in his own poignant style. He had numerous stand-up comedy albums to his credit one of which was released on the STAX Records label titled "That Nigger's Crazy." When released, the promotion and marketing staff at STAX Records were in shock by the albums irreverent language style and encountered strong resistance from mainstream press and radio airplay. Even the large retail chain stores were cautious to stock the album. But Pryor's album broke down barriers with his jokes, re-enactments of cultural exchanges and triumphs over bleak realities. His monologues evoked the segments of a black person's lifestyle that included pimps, prostitutes, hustlers, working-class and church-going people. Pryor also starred in several hit movies such as, "Silverstreak", "Car Wash", "Stir Crazy", "Bustin Loose", "Which Ways Is Up?", and "Harlem Nights".

Above photo by Henry Diltz


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