Tuesday, December 13, 2005

RIP: Richard Pryor

Don't even know where to begin. All I have to say is, Quincy Jones totally stole my line. The moment I heard Richard Pryor passed, I said out loud, "He was the Charlie Parker of comedy." At least two of my friend heard me. Then, the next day in the newspaper, they quoted Quincy plagarizing me exactly. Next time I say something momentous, I'm going to get it trademarked.

Anyway, that was my precise description of Pryor. He revolutionized comedy and served as an immense inspiration to black (Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle) and white comics (Steve Martin) alike. On top of that, he played straight dramatic roles with gutso. For example, Paul Schrader's "Blue Collar." He was a genius in every sense of the word. The last film I saw him in was David Lynch's "Lost Highway" playing a small role.

In closing, let me share some of the finest Pryor quotes:

"It's been a struggle for me because I had a chance to be white and refused."

"When you ain't got no money, you gotta get an attitude."

"I went to Zimbabwe...I know how white people feel in America now, relaxed! Cause when I heard the police car I knew they weren't coming after me!"

"I went through every phone book in Africa, and I didn't find one goddamned Pryor!"

"I'd like to die like my father died... My father died fucking. My father was 57 when he died. The woman was 18. My father came and went at the same time."

"I live in racist America and I'm uneducated, yet a lot of people love me and like what I do, and I can make a living from it. You can't do much better than that."

"I'm not addicted to cocaine... I just like the way it smells."

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