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ValerieB

Richard Pryor Has Left Us

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The same poster...

I read on AAJ some months ago that Valerie is the widow of Walter Bishop, Jr.

it's not true that i'm walter's widow although i was married to him in the '60s and '70s. he does, however, have a lovely widow who lives in ny.

I don't think you are Mr B's widow either. <_<

you're correct, i'm not Billy Eckstine's widow! :lol:

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May his soul know the peace his body never knew.

God rest, Mr. Pryor.

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Amen.

RIP to one of the greats.

:(

Did Gene Wilder die too, or is Chuck referring to somebody or something else?

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Amen.

RIP to one of the greats.

:(

Did Gene Wilder die too, or is Chuck referring to somebody or something else?

Eugene McCarthy.

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11pryor_83.jpg

Preach, Brother, Preach

The King Of Comedy is in a better place

i'm very,very sad

:(

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It was around 1965 and I had a weekly all-night radio show ("The Inside") that started at midnight on Saturdays. The show was an eclectic mix of music and comedy, an audio collage with unexpected mood shifts. From time to time, comedians contributed to the show, sometimes live--as in the case of Lenny Bruce and Severn Darden--but mostly via recordings made expressly for the show.

One of my faithful listeners was a young lady named Francine. She called me every week during the show and never failed to tell me about her very funny friend, Richard, who could use the exposure and--she guaranteed--would be an asset to the show.

I finally agreed to go with Francine and meet Richard at a favorite hang-out if his, a comedy club on the West Side. I thought Richard would be performing there, but he was just hanging, so we caught a couple of stand-up wannabes and went somewhere else for coffee. After that, we just walked around and talked about this and that, but Richard was (too) obviously auditioning, so he tried to inject humor into everything. Tried is the key word here, because it was a strained effort that just didn't get to me. We (Francine, Richard, and I) were wandering around in Central Park when the sun showed up. Richard had a friend who lived on Central Park West and, at his suggestion, we paid a very early morning visit. Great apartment with a balcony facing the park. Richard's friend was, as I gathered, an unofficial agent for him, so the comedy lines continued to flow and our host laughed at Richard's every word, usually followed by "Isn't he great?"

At this point, I found myself wondering how I diplomatically could get out of using Richard on my show without hurting him or Francine. As I recall, I took the cowardly route and simply put my decision off. I eventually told Francine that I did not think Richard's comedy was right for my show--she disagreed, but took it well and, presumably, informed Richard.

Fast forward a few months. I was on assignment at the Apollo Theater, to interview the Temptations. Richard, who was beginning to attract attention, was the opening act. His routine was very funny, and the Apollo audience--then known for its gloves-off responses--loved it.

After the show, I ran into Richard backstage. He asked me if I had caught his act and I told him I had, adding that I thought he was a very funny guy. "Well," he said, with a broad smile, "we win a few and we lose a few!"

I am still kicking myself for losing that one. :(

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Loved, loved, loved Richard Pryor.

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I am still kicking myself for losing that one. :(

Still, that's an amazing story, Chris! Thank you for sharing it.

RIP, Richard, you funny motherf***er...

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Sad news. He was the greatest.

The first "Pryor in Concert" film was the funniest movie I've ever seen. My memeory is that I hurt from laughing so much.

I'd agree with that. Best comedy film ever on a luaghs-per-minute basis. "...and it's deep, too!" as was the majority of his comedy.

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i met richard in the '60s in nyc and then got to know him a bit in the '70s in l.a. also worked for him for awhile, mainly when he was writing, directing, producing and planning on starring in an autobiographical movie. it never got out of production but ended up years later as "jo-jo".

in social situations ("hangs") in the '70s and '80s, we'd have to plead with richard to stop being funny and just "shut up" so we could catch our breaths and rub our sore jaws and stomach muscles! and that was his just "riffing" with no scripts - just in the moment. there's no doubt that he was an absolute genius.

he was also an incredibly serious man who studied life and was a "news junkie". he would never miss the daily/evening news if he could help it. he was always "researching".

thankfully, i have lots of sweet memories of those "hangs," seeing his live shows, taping sessions for his short-lived tv show, etc. i'm grateful.

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which pryor stand up dvds do you own?

i have only own live on the sunset strip and here and now

i need them all

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pryor stand up performances on dvd

wattstax 1972

live and smokin' 1972

live in concert 1979

live on the sunset strip 1982

here and now 1983

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anyone read pryor's autobiography?

I did -- very vivid pictures of his childhood, and up to about age 21 -- my impression is that the book ended there -- but maybe just the detail ended there...

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Sad news. He was the greatest.

The first "Pryor in Concert" film was the funniest movie I've ever seen. My memeory is that I hurt from laughing so much.

I'd agree with that. Best comedy film ever on a luaghs-per-minute basis. "...and it's deep, too!" as was the majority of his comedy.

Yes indeed. RIP Richard.

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pryor stand up performances on dvd

wattstax 1972

live and smokin' 1972

live in concert 1979

live on the sunset strip 1982

here and now 1983

'Live in Concert' is screamingly funny- I've seen it about ten times and still scream whenever I see it. It is a work of pure genius, as he races from topic to topic and yet somehow manages to tie everything together.

RIP- he made me laugh(& think).

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Poor Stanley becomes more twisted by the hour.--CA

Masthead_thefrontpage.gif

Monday, December 12th, 2005

Pryor's flawed legacy

crouch_s.jpg

989-pryor.JPG

Richard Pryor's world was filled

with prostitutes, pimps, winos and

those others of undesirable ilk.

T
his past Saturday Richard Pryor left this life and bequeathed to our culture as much darkness as he did the light his extraordinary talent made possible.

When we look at the remarkable descent this culture has made into smut, contempt, vulgarity and the pornagraphic, those of us who are not willing to drink the Kool-Aid marked "all's well," will have to address the fact that it was the combination of confusion and comic genius that made Pryor a much more negative influence than a positive one.

I do not mean positive in the way Bill Cosby was when his television show redefined situation comedy by turning away from all of the stereotypes of disorder and incompetence that were then and still are the basic renditions of black American life in our mass media.

Richard Pryor was not that kind of a man. His was a different story.

Pryor was troubled and he had seen things that so haunted him that the comedian found it impossible to perform and ignore the lower-class shadow worlds he had known so well, filled with pimps, prostitutes, winos and abrasive types of one sort or another.

The vulgarity of his material, and the idea a "real" black person was a foul-mouthed type was his greatest influence. It was the result of seeing the breaking of "white" convention as a form of "authentic" definition.

Pryor reached for anything that would make white America uncomfortable and would prop up a smug belief among black Americans that they were always "more cool" and more ready to "face life" than the members of majority culture.

Along the way, Pryor made too many people feel that the N word was open currency and was more accurate than any other word used to describe or address a black person.

In the dung piles of pimp and gangster rap we hear from slime meisters like Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent, the worst of Pryor's influence has been turned into an aspect of the new minstrelsy in which millions of dollars are made by "normalizing" demeaning imagery and misogyny.

What is so unfortunate is that the heaviest of Pryor's gifts was largely ignored by so many of those who praised the man when he was alive and are now in the middle of deifying him.

The pathos and the frailty of the human soul alone in the world or insecure or looking for something of meaning in a chaotic environment was a bit too deep for all of the simpleminded clowns like Andrew Dice Clay or those who thought that mere ethnicity was enough to define one as funny, like the painfully square work of Paul Rodriguez.

Of course, Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam is the ultimate coon show update of human cesspools, where "cutting edge" has come to mean traveling ever more downward in the sewer.

In essence, Pryor stunned with his timing, his rhythm, his ability to stand alone and fill the stage with three-dimensional characters through his remarkably imaginative gift for an epic sweep of mimicry.

That nuanced mimicry crossed ethnic lines, stretched from young to old, and gave poignancy to the comedian's revelations about the hurts and the terrors of life.

The idea of "laughing to keep from crying" was central to his work and has been diligently avoided by those who claim to owe so much to him.

As he revealed in his last performance films, Pryor understood the prison he had built for himself and the shallow definitions that smothered his audience's understanding of the humanity behind his work.

But, as they say, once the barn door has been opened, you cannot get all of the animals to return by whistling. So we need to understand the terrible mistakes this man of comic genius made and never settle for a standard that is less than what he did at his very best, which was as good as it has ever gotten.

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Intellectualizing sure takes the comedy out of it. What a stiff. :g

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Stanley doesn't have a sense of much, including humor. He is a very insincere opportunist, so I am not sure if what he writes is what he really believes, but going against flow has worked for him. It is a tried and true ploy that a late friend of mine, Orde Coombs, used to get bylines back in the 1970s. Orde, however, was not the total sellout that Wynton shill Crouch is.

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You got to admit that his talent of taking one fact and twisting it into another reality to suit his purposes, would make him a perfect canidate for politics.

Here are a couple of classic examples noted by Amiri Baraka:

In the field of Jazz commentary, we have Stanley Crouch, Albert Murray, who have taken up many of the reactionary, even white-chauvinist, ideas of the racist U.S. superstructure and its critical establishment. A few years ago, at a Midwestern seminar headed by Dave Baker, Crouch, in a discussion on intellectual contributions to The Music, and in response to this writer's statement that it should obvious that it has been Black people who have contributed the fundamental and essential intellectual innovations to the music, spontaneously ejaculated, that "Black people have not contributed …" Breaking the statement off in mid ugly, apparently shocking even himself, at the ignorance of his intended comment. Especially, I would imagine, in the face of several scowling "Bloods", most, prominent musicians, including Muhal Abrams, who commented immediately on the tail of my repeated requests for Stanley to finish his thought!

Crouch also wrote more recently in the New York Times, that Black musicians didn't like George Gershwin because he was a better composer than all of them (except Duke). It should be clear to most folks with any clarity that both statements are false and reek of the national (racial) foolishness that characterizes white supremacy. And this from a "Negro" (as Crouch, with objective accuracy, prefers to be called)!

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You got to admit that his talent of taking one fact and twisting it into another reality to suit his purposes, would make him a perfect canidate for politics.

Here are a couple of classic examples noted by Amiri Baraka:

In the field of Jazz commentary, we have Stanley Crouch, Albert Murray, who have taken up many of the reactionary, even white-chauvinist, ideas of the racist U.S. superstructure and its critical establishment. A few years ago, at a Midwestern seminar headed by Dave Baker, Crouch, in a discussion on intellectual contributions to The Music, and in response to this writer's statement that it should obvious that it has been Black people who have contributed the fundamental and essential intellectual innovations to the music, spontaneously ejaculated, that "Black people have not contributed …" Breaking the statement off in mid ugly, apparently shocking even himself, at the ignorance of his intended comment. Especially, I would imagine, in the face of several scowling "Bloods", most, prominent musicians, including Muhal Abrams, who commented immediately on the tail of my repeated requests for Stanley to finish his thought!

Crouch also wrote more recently in the New York Times, that Black musicians didn't like George Gershwin because he was a better composer than all of them (except Duke). It should be clear to most folks with any clarity that both statements are false and reek of the national (racial) foolishness that characterizes white supremacy. And this from a "Negro" (as Crouch, with objective accuracy, prefers to be called)!

I am shocked, simply shocked that the New Jersey poet laureate talking about the racist US Superstructure, and that Crouch's comments reek of the national (racial) foolishness that characterizes white supremacy He just forgot to find a way to badmouth Jews.... <_<

Edited by BERIGAN

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Don't be so disappointed, Conrad, I do not doubt that you will have a future opportunity to deplore anti-Jewish remarks. It is, I sometimes think, your raison d'etre. For now, however, why complain over things not said and, instead comment on Amiri's assessments of Crouch and Murray? I think he is right on the mark, how about you? Or is anything Amiri says now nullified by a controversial poem of old?

Interesting quotes, Marcello. Interesting, too, that Crouch and Murray are no longer on speaking terms. :cool:

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Crouch:

"...never settle for a standard that is less than what he did at his very best, which was as good as it has ever gotten."

Uh.... what? :huh:

That has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever read.

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Stanley doesn't have a sense of much, including humor. He is a very insincere opportunist, so I am not sure if what he writes is what he really believes, but going against flow has worked for him. It is a tried and true ploy that a late friend of mine, Orde Coombs, used to get bylines back in the 1970s. Orde, however, was not the total sellout that Wynton shill Crouch is.

you sure speak the truth, christiern!

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Don't be so disappointed, Conrad, I do not doubt that you will have a future opportunity to deplore anti-Jewish remarks. It is, I sometimes think, your raison d'etre. For now, however, why complain over things not said and, instead comment on Amiri's assessments of Crouch and Murray? I think he is right on the mark, how about you? Or is anything Amiri says now nullified by a controversial poem of old?

Interesting quotes, Marcello. Interesting, too, that Crouch and Murray are no longer on speaking terms. :cool:

Crouch is clearly an asshole, clearly. speaking of raison d'etres. what would you write about on this board if you weren't writing about Bush, Condasleeza, etc?? Jazz? :P

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