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Posts tagged as richard pryor

Mike Epps Talks About Playing Richard Pryor on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

News broke back in August that Mike Epps officially landed the role of Richard Pryor in the upcoming Lee Daniels-directed biopic, and during last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Epps looked back on landing the role and getting to spend a year with Pryor before he died. Watch more from his interview below:

Mike Epps Officially Lands the Lead Role in the Richard Pryor Biopic

After being stuck in development for ages, the Richard Pryor biopic has finally found its Pryor. Despite Nick Cannon hinting that he got the part last month, according to an update by director Lee Daniels, Mike Epps — who was first chosen for the role by Pryor and his wife Jennifer in 2005 and spent time with the legendary comedian before he died — has officially landed the role. The tweet Daniels posted shows Epps, Daniels, and Oprah posing together with the caption "Get ready y'all- #MikeEpps as #RichardPryor." Epps won the role over Marlon Wayans, Eddie Murphy, and Michael B. Jordan after his "explosive" screen [...]

Burn It Down and Start Again: 4 Comics Who Threw Out Their Material and Reinvented Themselves

Throwing out material is a frightening prospect for any entertainer. For some performers it can take years to compile a half-hour show. Especially in comedy, recycled material can feel reheated quickly; it ends careers of comedians who refuse to change their once popular, soon hackneyed material.

Today with successes like Louis C.K. and John Mulaney, it’s hard for comedians not to feel pressure to accumulate new material annually.

Some comedians could ride on catchphrases for a few years, but the idea of starting fresh and reinventing oneself has existed in comedy for half a century. Throwing out material is daunting, but it’s a technique to get better and learn about what [...]

Inside 'SNL's Classic Richard Pryor/Chevy Chase Job Interview Sketch

"'You’ve all been asking me to put Chevy [Chase] and Richard [Pryor] together,' I say. After all the bullshit I’ve been put through to get here, the fucking cross-examination Lorne [Michaels] subjects me to, I decide to do a job interview of my own. Chevy’s the boss, interviewing Richard for a janitor’s job."

-Paul Mooney in an excerpt from the new Richard Pryor biography, Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him in Salon, telling the story of the famous 1975 Chevy Chase/Richard Pryor racial slur job interview sketch from SNL.

Forest Whitaker Is Producing the Richard Pryor Biopic and Starting from Scratch

Forest Whitaker has signed on as a producer, taking over development of the biopic of influential stand-up Richard Pryor, Deadline reports. A movie about Pryor's life has been in development since 1995, with everyone from Damon Wayans to Eddie Griffin, Mike Epps to Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock to director Martin Scorsese being involved at one point or another. Most recently, filmmaker Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) was onboard to direct the movie with Marlon Wayans playing Pryor, but Condon put the project on hold in 2010 to direct the Twilight sequels Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2. Forest Whitaker will be developing a new script, with input from Richard [...]

In a Rare Early Performance, Richard Pryor Sings and George Carlin Gets in Character

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

When I write an article that reaches pretty deep into the archives, I might spend a lot of time giving some context: talking about how [...]

What's So Special About 'The Richard Pryor Special'?

There's a famous story about The Richard Pryor Show — as Richard Pryor's star was rising in Hollywood in the 1970s, NBC commissioned the man to make a 10-episode sketch program to be broadcast in prime time. Family-friendly viewing not being Pryor's first priority, he clashed with the censors again and again until finally they let him off with only four episodes. These four episodes are still credited with an enormous influence over the genre of TV sketch comedy — directly cited by future blockbusters such as In Living Color and Chapelle's Show — and launching the careers of several performers, including the late Robin Williams in one of his [...]

Is 'Saturday Night Live' Becoming 'Saturday Night Pretaped'?

Last year, in his third time hosting SNL, Zach Galifianakis gave us a wonderful sketch called "Darrell's House." The sketch came in two parts. The first part was an odd piece that aired live early in the episode, with Galifianakis playing a public access TV show host who barked at an off-screen director to make various specific edits in post: remove a fight with his wife, insert a shot of a laughing crowd at the Apollo, etc. But it was the second part that was the true marvel. At the end of the night, SNL aired a recut version of the sketch with exactly all of the edits Galifianakis [...]

Looking at Richard Pryor's Career, Demons and All, in 'Omit the Logic'

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Marina Zenovich, premieres tomorrow night at 9pm on Showtime. Considering its sold out premiere at Tribeca Festival prompted one scalper to sell tickets for a 100% mark-up on Craigslist, Showtime subscribers may want to see what their passwords are worth.

This latest documentary about the iconic standup will air during a boon of excellent new documentaries about trail blazing comic geniuses, including Elaine Stritch (Sundance Selects), Mel Brooks (PBS), and Moms Mabley (HBO). It certainly holds its own as biographical TV specials go. The result is a fine primer for the uninitiated and a Valentine for prior (pun intended) [...]

There's a New Richard Pryor Box Set on the Way

Shout Factory is releasing a new Richard Pryor boxset that features new material (and plenty of old material), The AV Club reports. The set, titled No Pryor Restraint: Life in Concert drops June 11th and features two whole hours of previously unreleased stand-up, along with stuff that has been released like albums Live On The Sunset Strip and Bicentennial Nigger. No Pryor Restraint contains seven CDs and two DVDs, and AV Club has an exclusive audio clip from it that's just as filthy and funny as you'd expect a secret Richard Pryor recording to be.

The 20 Greatest Standup Specials of All Time

Modern standup has been around in one form or another since vaudeville, but it’s only been since the late ‘70s that the standup special has gained traction as the crowning achievement of a successful comic. Fortunately, the beginnings of the standup special were as fertile as rock ‘n’ roll’s birth 25 years prior, with many of the all-time greats setting templates right from the start.

The material always comes first, of course, but as a video document of a honed act it’s also important to appreciate the visual elements — the framing, editing, and backdrop — and how they enhance or detract from the pacing and quality of the jokes.

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Nick Cannon Hints He's Playing Richard Pryor in the Upcoming Biopic

Nick Cannon was a guest on TMZ Live yesterday, and he implied that he's been cast as Richard Pryor in the upcoming biopic about the late, great comedian. Cannon this week posted a side-by-side picture of himself (with his hair and facial hair grown out) and Pryor on Instagram and another picture of a young Pryor smoking a cigarette with the caption, "Picking up smoking cigarettes for the next few months so forgive me if I smell like an ashtray."

On TMZ, Cannon was cagey about confirming he's been cast as Pryor, but he did seem to imply pretty heavily that he's been working with director [...]

Richard Pryor Biopic Back On with New Director; Eddie Murphy, Marlon Wayans, Michael B. Jordan Eyed to Star

A biopic about the late great standup Richard Pryor has been in the works for nearly two decades now, and while the project has been dormant for the past few years, it looks like a Pryor biopic is once again in development. Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) is in talks to direct the movie, THR reports, and Marlon Wayans, Eddie Murphy, and Fruitvale Station's Michael B. Jordan are being considered to star in it.

Wayans was attached to the part back in 2010 when director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) was going to direct it. Condon left the project to direct Twilight: Breaking Dawn and the movie's been stalled out [...]

Showtime to Debut a New Richard Pryor Documentary May 31st

There's a new documentary about Richard Pryor coming to TV next month. Deadline reports that Showtime will be debuting Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic on Friday, May 31st, a month after the movie premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival. From director Marina Zenovich and writer P.G. Morgan, who made Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired together, the Pryor doc follows the iconic comedian's life from his rough childhood in Illinois to his ascendance to one of the country's most revered stand-ups and comedic actors in the 1970s. The comedian's widow, Jennifer Pryor, executive produced Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, which features interviews with Mel Brooks, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, [...]