WARNING: This program is NSFW. Interpret the W any way you wish.
“It's been a struggle for me because I had a chance to be white and refused.” – Richard Pryor
Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was a comedian and social critic who rose to prominence during the 1970’s. What set Pryor apart from his contemporaries, and the reason he is still lauded today as one of the greatest comedians of all time, was his ability to be incredibly honest and intimate with his routines, opposed to simply telling jokes or using purely fictional characters. Raised in his grandmother’s brothel in Peoria, Illinois, he was the son of a prostitute and a former boxer. He started out as a drummer in nightclubs, and eventually served a short time as a member of the U.S. military in West Germany, spending most of his time in prison. Upon his discharge, he moved to New York and was a regular on the stand-up circuit in a mold not unlike Bill Cosby’s type of easily tolerated comedic routines.
In 1967, while in Las Vegas, he realized that this type of career was not going to suit him. After moving to Berkeley, CA and becoming radicalized with the work of the Black Panthers, he changed his routine entirely, focusing on the daily situations that befell Blacks in the United States in the 1970’s. His second album, That Nigger’s Crazy, went gold and won Pryor a Grammy Award. He released a string of high charting and massive-selling comedy albums, co-wrote Blazing Saddles with Mel Brooks, wrote for television programs like Sanford and Son and won an Emmy Award for his work on a Lily Tomlin comedy special, starred in a number of successful films and even had his own television program on NBC.
Richard Pryor, 1982, photo by Paul Natkin/Getty.
However, his Hollywood lifestyle of heavy drinking and drug use took a major toll on his health, and he was not out of the tabloid headlines fro some time. Adding to this was the discovery of multiple sclerosis, which further kept him in the headlines and out of the spotlight in the 1980’s and beyond. This program is broken into four parts, recorded from 1968 through 1982 that illustrate Pryor’s knack for using comedy as a vehicle for blunt honesty in a realm usually known for anything but.
First Part: Sex
a) Fuck from Memory
b) Big Tits
c) Gettin’ Some
d) Fuck the Faggot
e) Snapping Pussy
Second Part: Jail
b) Prison Play aka Black Ben the Blacksmith
Third Part: Wattstax Monologues
b) The Handshake
c) Rummage Sale/Stylin'
e) Justifiable Homicide
f) Super Nigger
Fourth Part: Drugs
a) Wino and Junkie
b) Little Feets
Love to you all.
Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner
Ace of Spades PDX
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