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Richard Pryor

Real name: Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III
Birthdate: December 1, 1940
Status: Single

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Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American comedian, actor, and writer.

Pryor was a storyteller known for unflinching examinations of racism and customs in modern life, and was well-known for his frequent use of colorful language, vulgarities, and racial epithets as "nigger", "honky," "cracker," and "motherfucker." He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations, although public opinion of his act was often divided. He is commonly regarded as the most important stand up comedian of his time: Jerry Seinfeld called Pryor "The Picasso of our profession"; Whoopi Goldberg cited him as her biggest influence, stating "The major influence was Richard - I want to say those things he's saying."

Fellow comedian George Carlin made reference to this incident during his Carnegie Hall performance in 1983:“An update on the comedian health sweepstakes. I currently lead Richard Pryor in heart attacks 2 to 1. But Richard still leads me 1 to nothing in burning yourself up. See, it happened like this. First Richard had a heart attack. Then I had a heart attack. Then Richard burned himself up. And I said, 'Fuck that. I'm having another heart attack!'”

In 1998, Pryor became the first performer to win the inaugural Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. According to Former Kennedy Center President Lawrence J. Wilker,“Richard Pryor was selected as the first recipient of the new Mark Twain Prize because as a stand-up comic, writer, and actor, he struck a chord, and a nerve, with America, forcing it to look at large social questions of race and the more tragicomic aspects of the human condition. Though uncompromising in his wit, Pryor, like Twain, projects a generosity of spirit that unites us. They were both trenchant social critics who spoke the truth, however outrageous.”

In 2002, Pryor and his wife/manager Jennifer Lee Pryor, won the legal rights to all of the Laff material; almost 40 hours of reel-to-reel analog tape. After going through the tapes and getting Richard's blessing, Jennifer Lee Pryor gave Rhino Records access to the Laff tapes in 2004. These tapes, including the entire Craps album, form the basis of the double-CD release Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974).

In 2003, a television documentary, Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$#@!!, came out. It consisted of archival footage of Pryor's performances and testimonials from fellow comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes and Denis Leary of the influence Pryor had on comedy.

Albums authorized by Pryor: Richard Pryor | Craps (After Hours) | That Nigger's Crazy | ...Is It Something I Said? | Bicentennial Nigger | Wanted: Live In Concert | Live on the Sunset Strip | Here and Now | That African-American Is Still Crazy: Good Shit from the Vaults

Authorized compilations: Richard Pryor's Greatest Hits | ...And It's Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992) | The Anthology (1968-1992) | Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974)

Unauthorized releases: Pryor Goes Foxx Hunting | Down And Dirty | Richard Pryor Meets... Richard & Willie And... The SLA!! | L.A. Jail | Are You Serious??? | Who Me? I'm Not Him | Black Ben The Blacksmith | The Wizard Of Comedy | Outrageous | Insane | Holy Smoke! | Rev. Du Rite | Richard Pryor Live! (1982 picture disc) | Supernigger | Blackjack | Show Biz | Richard Pryor Live! (1983)PersondataNAME


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