Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American stand-up comedian, actor and social critic….who was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues….which employed vulgarities and profanity….along with racial epithets. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style….and is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential stand-up comedians of all time.
Pryor’s body of work includes the concert movies and recordings including Richard Pryor: Live & Smokin’ in 1971….That Nigger’s Crazy in 1974…..Is It Something I Said? in 1975….Bicentennial Nigger in 1976….Richard Pryor: Live in Concert in 1979 (where this excerpt originally was performed)…. Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip in 1982….and Richard Pryor: Here and Now in 1983. As an actor, he starred mainly in comedies such as Silver Streak in 1976….but occasionally in dramatic roles such as in Paul Schrader’s Blue Collar in 1978….and in action films such as Superman III in 1983. Pryor collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder….and with actor, comedian and writer Paul Mooney.
Pryor won an Emmy Award in 1973 and five Grammy Awards in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981 and 1982….plus, he also won two American Academy of Humor awards in 1974….and the Writers Guild of America Award. The first-ever Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was presented to him in 1998. He was listed at # 1 on Comedy Central’s list of all-time greatest stand-up comedians list….and in 2017, Rolling Stone ranked him first on its list of the 50 best stand-up comics of all time…..so, just watch this video and you will see why.