"I AINT DEAD YET M@THER F*CK%R!" - Comedy Greats: Richard Pryor

this May/June's issue of Banter covers Richard Pryor for its 'Comedy Greats' column...

various quotes (you can read the original in the link (just click on the subject of this blog entry) here):

After 7 grueling years in New York's comedy clubs developing an act, which someone later described as, "a cross between Red Foxx, Lenny Bruce and Dick Gregory, all wrapped up in a one of Bill Cosby's cute, fluffy jumpers", he suddenly snapped. "I realized in that moment all I was doing was safe, 'white bread' humour'. I had far too much anger inside me to settle for that."


But for a man who was driven by an acute sense of racial injustice, the Bill Cosby jumper was always going to wear thin at some point. ... When he returned to the comedy circuit in 1972, it was as a new man. As journalist Bishetta Merrit later wrote, "A metamorphosis took place during those two years and Pryor offered his audiences a new collection of characters, earthy metaphors, and the tough, rough, profane language of the streets. No longer did he mimic Cosby, for he now spoke on behalf of the underclass and his monologues and jokes reflected their despair and disillusionment with life in America." Just as he had as a teenager, he told the truth as he saw it, hyperkinetically delivered, expletive-laced, and straight from the hip. His subject matter ranged from black life on the streets, drug culture, sex, discrimination and politics to the difference between black and white arses. And yet with his vast array of facial expressions, mimes and spontaneous characters, he never seemed to be insulting his multi-racial audiences.


In 1986 however, life dealt him a far more serious blow when he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Whilst the impact of the disease wasn't immediate, Pryor knew that barring a so-far still elusive cure for the condition, his performing days were numbered. He battled on for a few more years but eventually hung up his mike in 1990 and despite a few, carefully selected appearances, has rarely appeared on stage since. He is however, as he is often want to point out, far from dead yet though. Happily re-married to Jennifer Lee he is now an active campaigner for animal rights and regularly takes on the might of corporate heavyweights like Burger King and the Barnum and Bailey Circus in his attempts to prevent cruelty to animals.

i guess sometimes the greatest performers (or whoever) are the ones, who have a purpose... huh??? who are driven... The million-dollar question then, is, how badly do u want this thing??? This will determine how far u will go with anything - and how far u will try, before giving up...

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