Sunday, December 11, 2005


My first memory of Richard Pryor on Television was from 'The Ed Sullivan Show' (I think). He did a quick routine of the first astronaut on the Sun - by jumping around like he had the mutha of all hot-foots!

There'll be plenty of blogs with better memorials to his comedy, to the greater meaning of his talent. I've already found several good ones in the sites I have listed to the left. I've never been good at this sort of thing, and prefer just to tip my hat and say "Thank you" for what Mr. Pryor did to help expand the boundaries of that little box of lights and wires which holds such a powerful universe.

And he paid quite a price knocking down those walls. It's an image from his own short-lived variety series that best summed up what it must have cost him - he was shown during his opening monologue as being totally naked, but his genitals had been excised digitally.

As a tip of the hat to his memory last night, 'Saturday Night Live' showed the following excerpt from the classic sketch Pryor did with Chevy Chase in that first year of 'SNL':

Interviewer: [ aggressive ] "Spearchucker".
Mr. Wilson: "White trash!"
Interviewer: "Jungle Bunny!"
Mr. Wilson: [ upset ] "Honky!"
Interviewer: "Spade!
Mr. Wilson: [ really upset ] "Honky Honky!"
Interviewer: [ relentless ] "Nigger!"
Mr. Wilson: [ immediate ] "Dead honky!" [ face starts to flinch ]

If you'd like to see the full sketch, please visit this fantastic site:


If you do a search of the site, it's from the seventh episode of the first year, titled: "Racist Word Association Interview".

"The Blackberry Inn" (1995) TV Series .... Himself
"Martin" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Break Up: Part 1" (episode # 1.18) 11 February 1993
"Pryor's Place" (1984) TV Series .... Himself
"The Richard Pryor Show" (1977) TV Series .... Himself/Various Characters (1977)
"The Midnight Special" (1972) TV Series .... Himself - Host
"The Mod Squad" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Teeth of the Barracuda" (episode # 1.1) 24 September 1968
"The Kraft Summer Music Hall" (1966) TV Series .... Regular

"The Norm Show" playing "Mr. Johnson" in episode: "Norm vs. Boxer" (episode # 2.11) 1 December 1999
"Malcolm & Eddie" playing "Uncle Buck" in episode: "Do the K.C. Hustle" (episode # 1.10) 11 November 1996
"Chicago Hope" playing "Joe Springer" in episode: "Stand" (episode # 2.9) 20 November 1995
"Martin" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Break Up: Part 1" (episode # 1.18) 11 February 1993
"The Partridge Family" playing "A.E. Simon" in episode: "Soul Club" (episode # 1.18) 29 January 1971
"The Mod Squad" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Teeth of the Barracuda" (episode # 1.1) 24 September 1968
"The Wild Wild West" playing "Villar" in episode: "The Night of the Eccentrics" (episode # 2.1) 16 September 1966

Carter's Army (1970) (TV) .... Pvt. Jonathan Crunk
[When we were kids, my friends and I usually played 'Combat!' in the neighborhood - most times in my backyard, which was a really long orchard. But after seeing this TV movie, in which a bigoted white officer led a platoon of black soldiers in WWII, we became 'Carter's Army'.... never mind that none of us were black. I was the Rosey Grier character......]


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