December 10, 2005


The funniest comedian who ever lived died today:


Richard Pryor


I'll never forget seeing his concert film, "Live On The Sunset Strip." It was the film he did in 1982 after he had recovered from burns across 50 percent of his body inflicted while freebasing cocaine in his home. The concert blew me away. This passage in particular:

When I was in Africa, this voice came to me and said, "Richard, what do you see?" I said, I see all types of people." The voice said, "But do you see any niggers?" I said, "No." It said, "Do you know why? 'Cause there aren't any."

For my money, there isn't a funnier bit than the skit he did with Chevy Chase during the first season of "Saturday Night Live."

ChevyChaseRichardPryorRacistInterviewSaturdayNightLiveSNL.jpg Interviewer: Alright, Mr. Wilson, you've done just fine on the Rorshact.. your papers are in good order.. your file's fine.. no difficulties with your motor skills.. And I think you're probably ready for this job. We've got one more psychological test we always do here. It's just a Word Association. I'll throw you out a few words - anything that comes to your mind, just throw back at me, okay? It's kind of an arbitrary thing. Like, if I say "dog," you'd say..?

Mr. Wilson: "Tree."

Interviewer: "Tree." [ nods head, prepares the test papers ] "Dog."

Mr. Wilson: "Tree."

Interviewer: "Fast."

Mr. Wilson: "Slow."

Interviewer: "Rain."

Mr. Wilson: "Snow."

Interviewer: "White."

Mr. Wilson: "Black."

Interviewer: "Bean."

Mr. Wilson: "Pod."

Interviewer: [ casually ] "Negro."

Mr. Wilson: "Whitey."

Interviewer: "Tarbaby."

Mr. Wilson: [ silent, sure he didn't hear what he thinks he heard ] What'd you say?

Interviewer: [ repeating ] "Tarbaby."

Mr. Wilson: "Ofay."

Interviewer: "Colored."

Mr. Wilson: "Redneck."

Interviewer: "Junglebunny."

Mr. Wilson: [ starting to get angry ] "Peckerwood!"

Interviewer: "Burrhead."

Mr. Wilson: [ defensive ] "Cracker!"

Interviewer: [ aggressive ] "Spearchucker."

Mr. Wilson: "White trash!"

Interviewer: "Jungle Bunny!"

Mr. Wilson: [ upset ] "Honky!"

Interviewer: "Spade!"

Mr. Wilson: [ really upset ] "Honky Honky!"

Interviewer: [ relentless ] "Nigger!"

Mr. Wilson: [ immediate ] "Dead honky!" [ face starts to flinch ]

Interviewer: [ quickly wraps the interview up ] Okay, Mr. Wilson, I think you're qualified for this job. How about a starting salary of $5,000?

Mr. Wilson: Your momma!

Interviewer: [ fumbling ] Uh.. $7,500 a year?

Mr. Wilson: Your grandmomma!

Interviewer: [ desperate ] $15,000, Mr. Wilson. You'll be the highest paid janitor in America. Just, don't... don't hurt me, please...

Mr. Wilson: Okay.

Interviewer: [ relieved ] Okay.

Mr. Wilson: You want me to start now?

Interviewer: Oh, no, no.. that's alright. I'll clean all this up. Take a couple of weeks off, you look tired.

[ fade ]

Posted by Jeff at December 10, 2005 10:03 PM
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