February 20, 2010 |
When it was announced that Marlon Wayans and not Eddie Murphy would be portraying Richard Pryor in the long-discussed biopic of the comedy giant, the news was greeted with Internet jeering. Wayans wasn't surprised when he read the disparaging comments -- you can't hang your star on films like "White Chicks" and "Little Man" without consequences. "Look, I want to be able to make the stupidest movies ever, because they make people laugh and they make money," Wayans recently said with a smirk.
January 19, 2010 |
Paul Mooney recalls the day he became Richard Pryor's shadow partner. It was 1968, and the two young comics were sitting in a Hollywood greasy spoon, with Pryor nursing another hangover, so Mooney lightened the mood with an off-the-cuff, X-rated one-liner that made his buddy convulse. Pryor copped the joke in his act. Later, he slipped a $10,000 watch onto Mooney's wrist as a token of thanks, and so began a friendship that lasted until Pryor's death in 2005. Pryor was a self-loathing, drug-addicted genius, Mooney an industrious teetotaler, but they bonded over laughs and a distrust of the white Hollywood power structure.
January 31, 2008 |
STAND-UP comedy was a bit slow to embrace the counterculture. As rock 'n' roll provided a rebel soundtrack, movies served up biker and LSD freakout flicks and Broadway unfurled "Hair," comics remained more or less square throughout the 1960s. Of course, Lenny Bruce was an exception. He had fervent admirers among his brethren yet no one wanted to follow the martyred comic onto the cross. Between "Ed Sullivan Show" appearances and Vegas and Catskills engagements, too much was at stake.
December 8, 2006 |
Hers is a life lived bumping around the margins of fame. Rain Pryor didn't get the Nicole Richie-esque existence filled with endless shopping and carefully cultivated fabulousness enjoyed by other children of the stars. Sure, her dad had fame and money, lots of both. He was, after all, Richard Pryor.
January 11, 2006 |
David Bowie, Cream, Merle Haggard, Robert Johnson, Jessye Norman, Richard Pryor and the Weavers have been named recipients of the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors "lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium," the academy said Tuesday.
December 14, 2005
ONE OF THE few things I remember vividly about being in the 8th grade in 1975 was a class art project. Everybody had to design a cardboard record album cover -- album covers were certainly high art at the time -- that the teacher later displayed on shelves that lined the walls of our classroom. The project that leaped out at me was one student's rendition of Richard Pryor's record, "That Nigger's Crazy."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2005 |
Richard Pryor, whose blunt, blue and brilliant comedic confrontations confidently tackled what many stand-up comics before him deemed too shocking to broach, died early Saturday. He was 65. Pryor suffered a heart attack at his home in the San Fernando Valley. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The comedian's body of work, a political movement in itself, was steeped in race, class and social commentary, and encompassed the stage, screen, records and television.
March 27, 2005
I have been waiting a long time to have hip-hop clarified and appreciate that Todd Boyd did just that ("Working Both Sides of Street," March 6). I'm 82 and taught in Pacoima from 1970 to 1990. I was already beginning to hear my sixth-graders rapping "Black Is Beautiful," doing break dancing and displaying their play game of "Pizza Pizza Daddy-O." Oh, that we had candidates who could look to hip-hop for integrating instead of dividing our diverse population! Hilda Lerner Encino Todd BOYD'S essay was insightful.