Thursday, June 16, 2011

Richard Pryor Live in Concert

Jeff Margolis, 1979 (9.6*)
This is stand up comedy at it's best. Richard Pryor in his prime is as funny as anyone in history. No props, just a mic and an audience, and comic genius flowed forth like a fountain from the subconscious.

You simply have to get Pryor uncensored as well, the language is part of the humor, it all fits the syntax, the rhythm of the language adds to the humor, which at times moves into the hilarious stage. He will talk about anything, too - some topics here include his pet monkeys, a Chinese stutterer, people at funerals, good sex, his heart attack, whippings from his granny, and dudes lying.

This was a very successful lp, then CD, but you really need to see Pryor act out his humor, as much of it is facial expressions and hand gestures, and even body language, especially when he delves into the sexual realm.

Pryor has influenced comedy forever, it's too bad that he didn't really translate to films, largely because the dumb humor written for him was never as funny as his own stuff, much of it penned by writer Paul Mooney, who is still doing his own standup today. Mooney says that the way to attack racism is to get people to laugh at it first, and at this, Pryor succeeded like no one else. He does perfect imitations of caucasians (even a little John Wayne) and asians both, and has several black voices and characters as well.

This is rare ground, and I doubt there will ever be anyone this funny again in the arena of standup comedy. For what it is, this should really be rated a 10.0, but when I compare it to films that are emotionally moving that's the one thing this lacks.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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