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Posts tagged as richard pryor

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 Richard Pryor Biopic’s 17 Years in Development Hell

Regarded by his peers as the greatest stand-up comedian of all-time, Richard Pryor also lived a fascinating life to match his larger-than-life reputation as a comic. Pryor’s tumultuous personal experiences are what fed his comedy, and it’s no wonder that Hollywood executives, filmmakers, Pryor’s family, and Pryor himself have tried many times to make a biopic about his life. There’s enough stuff in Richard Pryor’s life to fill two or three movies (he grew up in a brothel, rose to the top of his field by breaking boundaries and fighting numerous censorship battles, had some run-ins with the mob, lit himself on fire while freebasing cocaine, and was diagnosed [...]

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, [...]

Using Comedy to Help Overcome Addiction

Welcome to the latest installment of Tragedy Plus Time. Each segment will focus on a particular ‘life crisis’ — sometimes globally tragic, sometimes more of a personal affair — and we’ll explore how many of the comedians we know and love have dealt with it.

Though no one has proved it scientifically, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the connection between creative types and recreational drug use. Whether it’s an openness to new experiences, a desire to numb the pain, or just the absence of a reason to get up early the next morning, many artists find themselves indulging at some point in their life. What starts as [...]

Mike Epps Is Playing Richard Pryor in a Biopic Not About Richard Pryor

Stand-up and actor Mike Epps, best known for roles in the Friday sequels and The Hangover, has just been cast as Richard Pryor in a new biopic about legendary jazz singer and civil rights pioneer Nina Simone, who will be played by Zoe Saldana. Epps was originally going to play Pryor in a biopic about his own life back in 2005, but was let go after widow Jennifer Pryor disagreed with the casting. Eddie Murphy and Marlon Wayans were the next to be attached to the Pryor movie, being produced by Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, but the project is currently on hiatus. Mike Epps says [...]

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 [...]

Saying Goodbye to Richard Pryor When He Was Still Around to Hear It

It’s no secret that sometimes comedy is taken a bit too seriously. Comedy obsessives love not just the jokes, but the mechanics and emotions of the comedy world. There are a raft of comedy documentaries exploring comedy and comedians, but do they really have anything significant to add to the discussion? This series looks at comedy documentaries and whether they’re interesting, insightful, and possibly even…funny?

It feels appropriate to be wrapping up nearly a year’s worth of comedy documentaries with a look at one of the greatest comedians ever, and one of the first comedy documentaries I ever saw. When Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet Mother@!#%$!! first aired [...]