I don't use the term, 'genius', too often. I like to reserve it for the few I know were.... without a big ol' hairy doubt -
RICHARD PRYOR WAS PURE GENIUS!!
That sedative peddler, rapist, pudding pusher, Bill Cosby once said, "Richard drew the line between comedy and tragedy, as thin as one could possibly paint it."
Tell it to Payne Webber!!
Richard Pryor did it "HIS way." ....ALLL the way! There is, absolutely, NO DOUBT, NO BULLSHIT!!
if there IS an official book of comedy that exists... Richard is in it and rather high near the TOP!! He opened the door for many a comic to step thru said door, without fear or favor, nor being pigeon holed into the routine of someone else, & scripted way that Hollywood seemed to define it!! Allowing them, in turn to do-it-to-it.. their way!!
You know?.. Although he hosted twice - I looked for Richard's Oscar count... and it was 0??? ZERO folks!! I am sorry but that is pure bullshit if I've ever seen it, smelled it, ANDDD sensed it, & I'm blowing the HORN on it!! Harlem Nights, See No Evil, Hear No Evil!!!!!!!??!?!?!?!?!? Whaaaht? There IS NO EXCUSE for that!! Way to kick Richard in the fucking face Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 🖕!! Brewster's Millions?, Stir Crazy, Moving?!?!?!!!!!!!!???? Proof posy that it's not about the talent... it's about a criteria... Not even nominated for an Oscar!! Thank GOD fans could see an Oscar worthy performance in EVERY PICTURE starring Richard. And they wondered why-o-why Sir Charlie Chaplin used HIS, as a doorstop.. 😂. Sometimes life is staggering - other times - it's crippling... And usually, it's something or one SO henius. May not start out like that. Teachers are the worse for this stuff... Because.. TaTa... They are effervescent & refreshment to themselves. It's just sad that someone as legendary, someone so soo GOLDEN... as is Richard Pryor - Yah let them hear THANKS every now and then!! Damn!
..And with that? Here is Richard's story....
RICHARD FRANKLIN LENNOX THOMAS PRYOR, (try saying that real fast 5 times 2x a day for tongue exercise,👍 FoSho'Nuff!), was born December 1, 1940, in Peoria, Illinois... which the town WELL acknowledges... and THE statue. Born to real exclusive deadbeat parents - his mom was a practiced, seasoned, expert prostitute... and a father who was a part-time bartender, professed boxer, professional hustler, and full-time asshole. His 'rents tried to 'get it together,' 3 years too late, by getting married when Richard was 3.... Guess what? It didn't last. They both split after that, leaving Richard in the loving confines of his grandmother's whore house... His grandma had a tick for beating Richard - While raising... (ooor giving shelter to) him within her 'ho house.'
He went to elementary school, here.. As a child learns the language of the home... Young Richard would develop a vocabulary certainly unique to others in his school. Richard, often on his own, took up a toughness (mentally and physically.) When AT the brothel... Richard & his 4 brothers were usually ignored... leaving them at their own devices.. At age 6, howev, he was sexually abused, (by a teenaged neighbor), within his grandma's brothel, & according to his official website, was molested by a Catholic priest during catechism, a year later at age 7. POOR Richard! DAMN!!
He went to junior high, here.. He very often couch surfed in younger years... A trend that continued well into his mid-teens.
At age 14, he was expelled from school. Gander his report card?? He met a fellow who spent his days playing the drums, and nights playing the clubs as a drummer. A skill Richard picked up and would use later in life, even releasing a few albums. The streets weren't a far cry from 'grams brothel'... Richard would say later in interviews. 'It's all I knew.' He went on to say... "There was a movie theater in the neighborhood... and I loved going there as a kid - it allowed me the wings to escape into another world for the length of the movie."
Young Richard discovered his own showbiz bug, when he was cast in a local production of Rumpelstiltskin, at the local community playhouse. He was cast into the part by a lady named Juliette Whittaker, whom he never forgot throughout his career, as she encouraged him to pursue showbiz.
Richard joined the armed forces in 1958. This time in the military was tumultuous to say the least.. for one Richard was not keen to taking orders, due to his raising. He would spend 2 years in the military before being discharged due to fighting. Pryor was incarcerated for an incident that occurred while he was stationed in West Germany. Angered that a white soldier was 'overly amused' at the racially charged scenes of Douglas Sirk's film Imitation of Life, Pryor and several other black soldiers beat and stabbed him, although not fatally... That said - comparitivily - Richard was NOT racist!! Erhmm!! Pfft!!
In 1963, Richard moved to New York City and began performing regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen.
Inspired by that pill peddlin' rapist, Bill Cosby, 'he began as a middlebrow comic, with material faaaar less controversial than what was to come.' Soon, he began appearing regularly on television variety shows, such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Merv Griffin Show, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. His popularity led to a string of mass success in Vegas.
In September 1967, Pryor had what he described in his autobiography as an "epiphany". He walked onto the stage at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas (with Dean Martin in the audience), looked at the sold-out crowd, exclaimed over the microphone, "What the fuck am I doing here!?", and walked off the stage. Afterward, It was 'then,' he began working profanity into his acts!!
The 70s - Richard continued stand-up, & began writing for television shows, Sanford and Son, The Flip Wilson Show, and a 1973 Lily Tomlin HBO special, for which he shared an Emmy Award.. The connections made writing, eventually, led to HIS OWN TV SHOW!
You saw the quote at the top on MARRIAGE.. 'I intend to do it until I get it right..' Richard was married 7 times to 5 women.. But was a GREAT father!!
Patricia Price, whom he married in 1960 and divorced the following year..
Shelley Bonus, whom he married in 1967 and divorced in 1969..
Deborah McGuire, whom he married on September 22, 1977; they divorced the following year..
Jennifer Lee, whom he married in August 1981. They divorced in October 1982, but later remarried on June 29, 2001, and remained married until Pryor's death.
Flynn Belaine, whom he married in October 1986. They were divorced in July 1987, but later remarried on April 1, 1990. They divorced again in July 1991..
Interesting within itself! FoSho!!
He had almost died in 1980, during the making of the film Stir Crazy, after setting himself on fire, he ran down Parthenia Street from his Los Angeles home - according to daughter Rain, while freebasing cocaine. He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for second- and third-degree burns covering more than half of his body. Pryor spent six weeks in recovery at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital. He would later claim that it was a suicide attempt, and even joked about it in his act. He would hold up a lit match moving it from left to right and say, "What's that?
It's Richard Pryor running down the street." 😂
According to Wiki: Pryor developed a reputation for being demanding and disrespectful on film sets, and for making selfish and difficult requests. In his autobiography Kiss Me Like a Stranger, co-star Gene Wilder says that Pryor was frequently late to the set during filming of Stir Crazy, and that he demanded, among other things, a helicopter to fly him to and from set because he was the star. Pryor was also accused of using allegations of on-set racism to force the hand of film producers into giving him more money.. One production member recalls.. One day during our lunch hour in the last week of filming, the craft service man handed out slices of watermelon to each of us. Richard, the whole camera crew, and I sat together in a big sound studio eating a number of watermelon slices, talking and joking. As a gag, some members of the crew used a piece of watermelon as a Frisbee, and tossed it back and forth to each other. One piece of watermelon landed at Richard's feet. He got up and went home. Filming stopped. The next day, Richard announced that he knew very well what the significance of watermelon was. He said that he was quitting show business and would not return to this film. The day after that, Richard walked in, all smiles. I wasn't privy to all the negotiations that went on between Columbia and Richard's lawyers, but the camera operator who had thrown that errant piece of watermelon had been fired that day. I assume now that Richard was using drugs during Stir Crazy.
In the ladder years, my buddy Scott at FindADeath.com, gives us a look into his daily grind...
He lived in Encino. His daily regimen included waking at 8 a.m. by a nurse who would massage him, shower and dress him. At noon, he would enjoy lunch and a few hours in front of the television. Crank Yankers and Dave Chappelle were two of his favorites. Once a week, a physical therapist would help him exercise, otherwise he would listen to music or sit by the pool with his pooches. At 3 p.m. he would nap, then greet visitors. At night, he would get massaged again, and while sleeping he was monitored by an assistant, and moved to avoid bedsores.
Cut to December 10, 2005, just before 8 a.m., that his wife found him unresponsive in bed, and unable to revive him - she called for help. Medics took him to the hospital in Los Angeles, trying to revive him on the way. Upon arrival to the E.R. - he was officially pronounced dead..
The funeral was Saturday, the 17th of December.. & was tailored for a prince.. Click here to read more on his death!!
RIP Richard!! You certainly raised the standard to new heights - & lowered it to new lows - but with whatever you did - YOU MADE IT LEGENDARY!!
'I believe in the institution of marriage, and I intend to keep trying till I get it right.'
"People call me all the time and say, 'Richard, I heard you were dead.' I say, "You're talking to me. What do you think?"