December 10th marks the fourth year anniversary of the death of one the most brilliant comedians to ever grace the stage, Richard Pryor. He did for stand up comedy what Michael Jackson did for music, surely incomparable by today’s standards. It was the summer of 1982, my freshmen year in college, when I first saw “Richard Pryor’s Live on Sunset Strip.” It was by far one of the most incredible performances I had ever seen. After all these years I am still laughing. The mark of a true comedian is that the laughter doesn’t cease because the show ends, it has the power to supersede time and space and keep you laughing for years to come, positively Pryor. He was no doubt a comedic trailblazer whose indelible markings are still seen in the comedic landscape. Jerry Sienfield called Pryor, “ The Picaso of our profession.” It was only natural that his comedic genius made it to the big screen in such memorable performances as "Brewster’s Millions", "Stir Crazy", and "Silver Streak" because the stage alone could no longer hold him. His incredible talent did not go unnoticed and his work garnered him One Emmy, five Grammy Awards and two American Academy of Humor Awards. Truly the world paused at his passing.
By Yvonne D. Gregge
Here is a portion of Richard Pryor's performance from his stand-up film titled Richard Pryor: Live on Sunset Strip filmed in 1982 in Hollywood, CA.