Richard Pryor passed away today.
As a kid, I remember listening to bootleg tapes of Richard Pryor’s act. We had tapes of tapes of tapes, and they sounded crappy. My dad was ok with us listening to foul language as long as it was comedy (thanks dad). As a result, I heard a lot of Richard Pryor and then later on, Eddie Murphy, who walked through the doors Richard Pryor had opened. We liked listening to abrasive comedy because it was the only time you got to hear good poop jokes you could pass on at school. There was a couple of Richard Pryor shows I knew by heart for several years. And even though it was considered one of his worst films, Brewster’s Millions is one of my favorites. The cultural significance of Pryor’s racial comedy didn’t dawn on me until I was an adult. For all of his flaws offstage, I know he had a tremendous impact on American culture. I was too young to understand that when I listened to him. I just remember the shit jokes. They were hilarious.
Thanks Richard. I loved your shit jokes.