Today’s stand-up comedians are wimps. Many act like they are crazy or not afraid to walk on the wild side, but few are the real deal. I’m pretty sure Russell Brand’s notoriety is at least partly thanks to his own marketing.
But guys like Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor needed no market. Especially not Pryor. Half of his material was just about the stupid stuff he did, including setting himself alight in a cocaine fit and killing his car with a Magnum handgun. He also happened to enjoy a very successful career as a stand-up comic and actor, enjoying a fruitful relationship
How can that not make for a great biopic?
Lee Daniels thinks so and the director of Precious and The Butler started working on such a project a year ago. Back then it was speculated if Eddie Murphy, a friend of the late Pryor, would be involved. At first that seemed to be the case, but the role of Pryor has instead gone to Mike Epps.
Now Murphy’s involvement has been confirmed, but his role is still unclear. According to Joblo, he may play Pryor’s father. He joins Oprah Winfrey as Pryor’s mom, and Kate Hudson as Jennifer Pryor, his wife.
It’s a big boost for both Murphy and the movie. It’s hard to think of a black standup comedian who was as Richard Pryor. Everyone from Murphy to Chris Rock and beyond owe Pryor in the same way white comedians should have a shrine to George Carlin. And if even you take race out of the equation, Richard Pryor is probably one of the top five most important comedians in history, standing alongside people like Carlin and Lenny Bruce.
If you;re still not clued up, here’s a collection of Pryor clips…
Last Updated: March 16, 2015