Monday, December 12, 2005

RIP Richard Pryor

I am personally happy to see anybody come out to see me. Especially as much as I fucked up this year. I don't want to see NO MORE POLICE. IN MY LIFE.
At MY house.
Takin' MY ASS to jail.
For killin' MY CAR.
And it seemed fair to kill the car to me, cuz my wife was gonna leave my ass. And I said "Not in this car you ain't. I'll kill the motherfucker. You better leave in those loafers." 'Cause I had a big Magnum, and you know the sound it makes when you shoot it? I shot one of the tires, BOOM! And the tire said "Waaa-a-a-a-a-a-a-ah." It felt good to me, so I shot another one. "Waaaa-a-a-a-a-a-ah." And that vodka I was drinkin' said "Go ahead and shoot somethin' else, Rich." So I shot the engine, that motherfucker just fell out. Then the police came, so I went IN THE HOUSE.
'Cause they have Magnums too.
And they don't kill cars.
They kill nigg-ars.

Richard Pryor was the best standup comedian of all time. Not one of the greats, the greatest. Like Jimi Hendrix, with whom he shares some common traits, he stands in a class by himself within his art form.

Richard's self-depricating humor belied the confidence with which he performed his act. He was absolutely fearless on stage. No artform requires more courage than standup comedy in the first place. It's an absolutely terrifying situation, which is why comics tend to fall back on what works. Richard's set was not a series of easy setup/punchline jokes, but rambling monologues about life (particularly black life) in America. And yet, when he was on, this was the funniest standup that anyone has ever done. Which is where the Hendrix comparison comes in: Jimi could play pure feedback and distortion and make it sound not only musical, but warm and pleasent, just as Richard could bullshit about his life and make it as hilarious as any joke. That combination of talent and guts makes him the greatest.

Richard's movies aren't as good as his standup, but he did co-write the script to Blazing Saddles. On a rerun of an old Larry King this weekend, he mentioned that Mel Brookes had wanted Richard to play the Cleavon Little role, but the studio wouldn't allow it. I think Blazing Saddles is one of the best comedies ever made, but man, to imagine how much BETTER it would be with Richard Pryor in the lead? Mind boggling!


Blogger Jose Fritz said...

so true man.

12/15/2005 1:32 PM  
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