Wednesday, February 08, 2012

"I musta snorted up Peru..."

Entry two in my "Ode to Comedians" puts the amazing Richard Pryor down on paper.  It was at a Half-Price Books in Dallas, Texas that I plunked down a couple of bucks for a used cassette of Richard's album That N$#%er's Crazy, my first dirty comedy album (It wasn't the first one I'd heard, my sister had let me listen to Sam Kinison's Louder than Hell with her and her friends).  Amazingly, I still have it here somewhere, though, as a very nice parting gift from a show I worked on, they bought me Richard's box set which included the album.

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was born in Peoria, Illinois in 1940.  After a childhood growing up in his grandmother's brothel and rough early adult life, Richard began his stand-up career in mafia clubs in Youngstown, Ohio before transitioning to New York.  Pryor's early comedy records, though frequently racially charged in content, began to garner him a mainstream audience.  He wrote for several 70's sitcoms, was an early guest on Saturday Night Live, and began regularly appearing in films in both comedic and dramatic roles.  Richard passed away in 2005 of a heart attack after surviving for 20 years with multiple sclerosis.

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