Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor

Highest Rated: 100% Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip (1982)

Lowest Rated: 9% The Toy (1982)

Birthday: Dec 1, 1940

Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, USA

African-American comedian Richard Pryor grew up bombarded by mixed messages. Pryor's grandmother owned a string of brothels, his mother prostituted herself, and his father was a pimp. Still, they raised Richard to be honest, polite, and religious. Living in one of the worst slums in Peoria, IL, Pryor found that he could best defend himself by getting gang members to laugh at instead of pummeling him. This led to his reputation as a disruptive class clown, although at least one understanding teacher allowed Pryor one minute per week to "cut up" so long as he behaved himself the rest of the time. At age 14, he became involved in amateur dramatics at Peoria's Carver Community Center, which polished his stage presence. In 1963, Pryor headed to New York to seek work as a standup comic; after small gigs in the black nightclub circuit, he was advised to pattern himself after Bill Cosby -- that is, to be what white audiences perceived as "nonthreatening." For the next five years, the young comic flourished in clubs and on TV variety shows, making his film bow in The Busy Body (1967). But the suppression of Pryor's black pride and anger by the white power structure frustrated him. One night, sometime between 1969 and 1971, he "lost it" while performing a gig in Las Vegas; he either walked off-stage without a word or he obscenely proclaimed that he was sick of it. Over the next few years, Pryor found himself banned from many nightclubs, allegedly due to offending the mob-connected powers-that-be, and lost many of his so-called friends who'd been sponging off of him. Broke, Pryor went underground in Berkeley, CA, in the early '70s; when he re-emerged, he was a road-company Cosby no more. His act, replete with colorful epithets, painfully accurate character studies of street types, and hilarious (and, to some, frightening) hostility over black-white inequities, struck just the right note with audiences of the committed '70s. Record company executives, concerned that Pryor's humor would appeal only to blacks, were amazed at how well his first post-Berkeley album, That Nigger's Crazy!, sold with young white consumers. As for Hollywood, Pryor made a key early appearance in the Diana Ross vehicle Lady Sings the Blues. But ultra-reactionary Tinseltown wasn't quite attuned to Pryor's liberal use of obscenities or his racial posturing. Pryor had been commissioned to write and star in a Mel Brooks-directed Western-comedy about a black sheriff, but Brooks replaced Pryor with the less-threatening Cleavon Little; Pryor nonetheless retained a credit as one of five writers on the picture, alongside such luminaries as Andrew Bergman. When Pryor appeared onscreen in The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings and Silver Streak (both 1976), it was as a supporting actor. But Pryor's popularity built momentum, and by the end of the '70s he became the highest-paid starring comedian in films, with long-range contracts ensuring him work well into the next decade - when such efforts as Stir Crazy, Bustin' Loose, and The Toy helped to both clean up the foul-mouthed comic's somewhat raunchy public image, and endear him to a whole new generation of fans. His comedy albums -- and later, videocassettes -- sold out as quickly as they were recorded. The only entertainment arena still too timid for Pryor was network television -- his 1977 NBC variety series has become legendary for the staggering amount of network interference and censorship imposed upon it.By the early '80s, Pryor was on top of the entertainment world. Then came a near-fatal catastrophe when he accidentally set himself afire while freebasing cocaine. Upon recovery, he joked liberally (and self-deprecatively) about his brush with death, but, otherwise, he appeared to change; his comedy became more introspective, more rambling, more tiresome, and occasionally (as in the 1983 standup effort Richard Pryor: Here and Now) drew vicious heckling and catcalls from obnoxious audiences. His cinematic dec


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business Of America Actor 2008
No Score Yet Black and White Trypps Number Four Actor 2007
No Score Yet Richard Pryor:Stand Up Actor 2005
No Score Yet Richard Pryor - I Ain't Dead Yet #%$#@!! Uncensored Actor 2004
No Score Yet Richard Pryor - I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$#@!! Actor 2003
No Score Yet Adios Amigo Sam Spade 2003
No Score Yet Bitter Jester Actor 2003
86% Wattstax Actor 2000
No Score Yet Bingo Long And His Traveling All Stars Actor 1998
60% Lost Highway Arnie 1997
No Score Yet Century of Black Cinema Actor 1997
No Score Yet Sam Kinison: Why Did We Laugh? Actor 1997
17% Mad Dog Time Jimmy the Gravedigger 1996
11% Another You Eddie Dash 1991
No Score Yet The Three Muscatels Russell 1991
21% Harlem Nights Sugar Ray 1989
28% See No Evil, Hear No Evil Wally 1989
33% Moving Arlo Pear 1988
No Score Yet Critical Condition Eddie Lenahan/Dr. Kevin Slattery 1987
No Score Yet Lily Tomlin Actor 1986
55% Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling Jo Jo Dancer/Alter Ego Director Screenwriter Producer 1986
35% Brewster's Millions Montgomery Brewster 1985
83% Richard Pryor Here and Now Himself Screenwriter Director 1983
26% Superman III Gus Gorman 1983
No Score Yet Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever Actor 1983
9% The Toy Jack Brown 1982
40% Some Kind of Hero Eddie Keller 1982
100% Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip Producer Screenwriter Himself 1982
60% Bustin' Loose Producer Joe Braxton 1981
No Score Yet Richard Pryor - Live and Smokin' Actor 1981
67% Stir Crazy Harry Monroe 1980
No Score Yet In God We Tru$t (In God We Trust) (Gimme That Prime Time Religion) God 1980
14% Wholly Moses! Pharaoh 1980
88% The Muppet Movie Balloon Man 1979
92% Richard Pryor---Live in Concert Screenwriter Actor 1979
57% California Suite Dr. Chauncy Gump 1978
42% The Wiz The Wiz 1978
100% Blue Collar Zeke Brown 1978
18% Which Way Is Up? Leroy Jones / Rufus Jones / Rev. Lenox Thomas 1977
No Score Yet Greased Lightning Wendell Scott 1977
80% Silver Streak Grover Muldoon 1976
87% Car Wash Daddy Rich 1976
88% The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings Charlie Snow/Carlos Nevada/Chief Takahoma, All-Star 1976
75% Uptown Saturday Night Sharp Eye Washington 1974
91% Blazing Saddles Screenwriter 1974
No Score Yet Hit! Mike Willmer 1973
No Score Yet The Mack Slim 1973
No Score Yet Some Call It Loving Jeff 1973
69% Lady Sings the Blues Piano Man 1972
No Score Yet Richard Pryor: Live & Smokin' Actor 1971
No Score Yet Dynamite Chicken Himself 1971
No Score Yet The Phynx Himself 1970
No Score Yet Carter's Army Pvt. Jonathan Crunk 1970
No Score Yet Black Brigade Crunk 1969
63% Wild in the Streets Stanley X 1968
No Score Yet The Busy Body Whittaker 1967


67% Norm
Mr. Johnson 1999
No Score Yet Malcolm & Eddie
Uncle Bucky 1996
No Score Yet Chicago Hope
Joe Springer 1995
No Score Yet Martin
Himself 1993
45% The Academy Awards
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
Guest Host 1975
No Score Yet The Flip Wilson Show
Guest 1974
No Score Yet The Partridge Family
Guest 1971
No Score Yet The Wild Wild West
Villar 1966
60% The Richard Pryor Show


Sugar Ray says: How was your date?

Quick says: I killed her.

Sugar Ray says: Ah, tore the pussy up, huh!

Quick says: No, man, I killed her.

Sugar Ray says: What the fuck you talking about.

Quick says: I shot her, man.

Sugar Ray says: Hmm. Was the pussy that bad, man?

Sugar Ray says: Quick, you're not a gangster. We're not. We're club owners. We run a dance hall. Calhoune... he's a cold-hearted killer. He'll have your ass killed. Now, the man probably doesn't know about La Rue yet. But in the morning, he's going to want you really dead. So, we got to find a place where we can lay low. Till we can run the scam and split.

Quick says: You telling me I should hide?

Sugar Ray says: No. I'm telling you you're gonna hide. You don't hide, Quick, they're gonna kill you. I'm not gonna let that happen to you. I didn't come this far with you so you can prove you ain't no punk and die. What are they gonna put on your tombstone? "Here lies a man, 27 years old. He died, but he ain't no punk." Hey man, that's bullshit. OK? You know when you die? When you're 89... got your children and your grandchildren around the bed... that's cool. It ain't cool to die at 27. I'm not gonna let you do that to yourself. I'm not gonna let you do it to me. 'Cause they kill you, they're gonna have to kill me. 'Cause I'm gonna kill them.

Phil Cantone says: OK Ray, here's the deal. I got a call from a friend of mine by the name of Bugsy Calhoune. He told me you're sitting on a little gold mine here. Now don't get me wrong. I know there's always gonna be after-hour places. We pretty much leave them alone when the money's not that significant, but you guys are doing about 10-15,000 a week. I mean, that's a lot of money. And to be perfectly honest. Mr. Calhoune & myself want some of it.

Sugar Ray says: How much money you talking about, you maggot motherfucker?

Phil Cantone says: Well, you guys are doing 15.000 a week. Let's say our cut is 10,000.

Sugar Ray says: You're robbing us, you son of a bitch.

Phil Cantone says: No, no, no. You're robbing the system, Ray. What do you want... sympathy from me? You're criminals, for Christ's sake. And I think it's a pretty fair deal. I wanted more, but Bugsy said it was fair. I mean, he's a real softy, Bugsy. I mean, if it was up to me, I'd give you jigs just enough money to function. So when I see you guys with the... with the fancy suits and cars and nice houses, and I'm living in a FUCKING HOVEL... I mean, that bothers me.

Sugar Ray says: Vera, you know we tally up at 4 o'clock. What is your problem?

Vera says: Kiss my ass, Sugar. I've got to watch my girls until the last trick is gone. And I'm not about to ask no customer to roll over so I can punch some goddamn clock. Now, this is your place, but I am in charge of the girls... and you can just kiss my ass.

Sugar Ray says: [Sugar Ray makes kisses toward Vera] Oh baby!

Vera says: No, stop it, Sugar, stop doing... Don't do that. Stop that!

Quick says: So, baby, how'd we do tonight?

Vera says: We made about 200.

Quick says: 200? Your girls have been back there all night. How'd they only make 200 dollars?

Vera says: You kiss my ass, Quick! I don't ever say nothing to you when the crap table and the bar come up short.

Quick says: Cause the bar and the crap table never come up short, just the girls.

Sugar Ray says: Now, calm down, Vera.

Vera says: Kiss my ass, Sugar! I wanna know what it is Quick is trying to say?

Quick says: I ain't trying to say shit. You're in charge of the girls, right?

Vera says: I am in charge of the girls.

Quick says: Are you in charge of the girls?

Vera says: I AM in charge of the girls.

Quick says: OK, The girls are always coming up short. Alright, let's get this shit out in the open. The girls are always coming up short even when the place is packed the girls come up short. Now, either you or them got a problem with their arithmetic.

Vera says: Are you saying I'm stealing?

Bennie Wilson says: The man didn't say you was stealing, Vera. Now, come over here and sit down and shut the fuck up!

Vera says: You shut the fuck up, Bennie. I would tell you to kiss my ass too, but you probably can't find it you blind motherfucker.

Bennie Wilson says: Fuck you, bitch.

Vera says: [Vera turning and looking at Quick] Me and you got to step out back.

Sugar Ray says: Hey, it was just a misunderstanding.

Vera says: [Vera starts taking off her hat] nuh-uh, No it ain't, it ain't no misunderstanding. Quick just accused me of stealing. and if you gonna take up for Quick in here, we can all be some fighting motherfuckers in here this evening. Bring your ass, nigger. Bring it on. Come on. Bring your ass! Come on, get up and come on, motherfucker!

Quick says: All right, bitch, you want to fight? We can fight then, you fat motherfucker, l'm tired of your shit!

Vera says: Just bring your ass!

Eddie/Kevin says: Youâ??re suffering from a severe case of full-of-shitness.

Eddie/Kevin says: You're suffering from a severe case of full-of-shitness.

Sheriff Chauncey says: Hello, Car 36, what the hell happened to you guys?

Grover Muldoon says: [into the radio] Hey Chauncey, this is Grover T. Muldoon. You wanna know what happened? We just whooped your ass. We whooped your ass. Ha ha ha!

Eddie Keller says: green fog

Eddie Keller says: Green fog.