Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (2013) Movie Script

This programme contains adult humour
and very strong language.
The two most beautiful words
in the world of comedy -
Richard Pryor.
Good evening. Wait for the people
to get from the bathroom.
They're in there pissing.
Wait, the shit's started.
Richard Pryor, undisputed champion
of the world.
The greatest of all times. Case
closed. Period. Exclamation point.
This is the fun part for me
when the white people come back
after intermission and find out
Niggers have stole their seats.
"We were sitting here, weren't we?"
"Yes, we were sitting right there."
"Well, you ain't sitting there now,
It's amazing to see him live. It's
like saying you saw Coltrane play.
What you taking my picture for?
You know you ain't got no film
in the camera.
Just flash and ain't nothing
flash. Sit your ugly ass down.
Most of us saw Richard
and thought, he's free flying.
I want to free fly. I love
when white dudes get mad and cuss.
Cos you're all some funny
motherfuckers when you cuss.
Says, "Like, come on, pecker head!"
"Come on, you fucking jerk-off.
Come on!"
Yeah. You fucking
ain't right, buddy.
Niggers speak like, "Buddy this."
Always talked about making them
brave enough to see themselves.
And the demons he wanted
to exorcise in the audience
became demons that he found hard
to exorcise in himself.
Richard Pryor,
the comedian and writer,
was badly burned in an accident at
his home in California last night.
Authorities say Richard Pryor
either walked or ran
nearly a mile and a half
from his house to this location,
where an ambulance rescued him.
There was an indication that a butane lighter
exploded on Mr Pryor. What can you tell us about that?
Right now, I'm not going to say
anything about cause or determination
until we know anything for sure.
Is there any indication there might have been
some manufacturing of drugs on the premises?
I can't say that either at this time.
Pryor's attorney talked
with reporters
and disputed the LAPD theory that
Pryor was using freebase cocaine.
He had a glass of rum in his hand.
He was lighting a cigarette
when boom.
No cocaine. No cocaine.
If anyone is monitoring
the intercom, let me inform you
that we have the right to check
the premises for flammables.
We intend to make entry by force
if necessary.
We have a verbal search warrant.
Fire and police investigators
obtained a search warrant
and forcibly entered Pryor's home
to look for clues this morning.
But police said someone had already
cleaned up the scene of the fire
and they could find no evidence.
Everybody had this sense that
something was ultimately going
to happen and it finally did.
This is it.
He's finally killed himself.
For the first time on television,
Richard Pryor.
Er, I'm going to tell you
a few things about myself,
because a lot of you probably
don't know me. I'm not a New Yorker.
My home's in Peoria, Illinois.
And, er...
Thank you.
I'm from an average type family -
11 kids.
No mother and father, just kids.
I was roaming
around Greenwich Village
and I wandered
into the Cafe au Go Go.
And I saw this guy
do a set
and I was completely mesmerised.
I thought this guy is going to be
a major star,
if I can get him to be able to put
two sentences together
without "fuck, motherfucker, cunt".
The next party you go to, everybody'll be
dancing away, having a heck of a time.
There will be one guy in the corner
by himself, checking himself out.
Everybody else will be dancing.
One guy in the corner... Hm. Doo.
Richard and I would have
to goes through the material,
rehearsing and preparing.
And it was never to make it funny.
It was to make cleaner.
I went to the opening night
at his first legitimate gig
at The Living Room,
which was a chic East Side boite.
And it was very crowded.
The maitre d' said,
could Nipsey Russell join you?
Sure. Nipsey sat down.
All during the show, Nipsey's
going... Hm. Tsk.
I said, what's wrong? At the end
of the show. What was wrong?
He said, "He's doing Bill Cosby."
Bill Cosby did what
they called the crossover.
He'd gotten white people to like him.
I think Richard thought
he had to imitate Bill to get
over to become part of the circus
or whatever it was.
Success came within a year. Yes.
How is it up here? Oh, wow!
How does it come out?
Oh, hostile. Really? Oh, yes. I go
out. I don't know. I go crazy.
Tell us the big things
that are going to happen to you.
A big thing that's going to happen
is, I'm going to Las Vegas.
He plays Vegas in 1966.
He's a huge success.
That world that he so aspired
to join, wanted to impress
everybody, wanted to be a big star
with his name in lights.
Suddenly, there's a hollowness
to that price.
Richard Pryor.
I want to really tell you,
it's really wow being here.
My home's in Midwest, Illinois.
Peoria where? Yeah. Peoria where?
Peoria, Illinois.
When he was in Las Vegas performing,
he looked out in the audience
and saw some white people.
Dean Martin was in the audience
and he was looking at him.
And Richard said, "I looked
at Dean Martin through his own eyes
"and saw me looking
like a damn fool."
It was like an epiphany. I don't
want to do it that way any more.
I want to do it the way I hear it.
That was probably when Richard Pryor
decided to become Richard Pryor.
In the middle of the night,
I got a call.
You'd better get out here, because
Richard Pryor has just gone nuts
and he's literally hanging
from the chandeliers in the lobby.
I want him out of the hotel,
and he is finished.
No. Nice talking to you. You know.
It was all over town.
You heard what happened last night.
And I think he was fired
the next day.
It was so public, he had a Vegas
gig. That's what every comic wants.
And you blew it?!
And I guess everybody thought, well,
that's the end of Richard Pryor.
I did not hear from him.
I did not know where he was.
Richard was gone.
Don't try to find no logic.
A lot of this in here,
logic is omitted.
At some time to understand Richard,
you had to first omit logic.
And then you come close.
What you think it ought to be, it
ain't going to be nothing like it.
# Talking, talking to the people
# Try to get them to go your way
# Tell the girl not to worry... #
Richard has to start
all over again. He had a new name.
It was Edward or Edwin
or something stupid.
It's what I'm going to call myself.
I'm going to come and pretend like
I have nothing and see how,
get to know these people here, the
hippies, I'm going to be one of them.
He gave up everything.
He gave up his driver's licence,
his bank account.
He gave up any kind of ID.
He lived in this horrible little
clapboard boarding house.
He invited me
to go to an after party.
And, um, we weren't apart
for like six years.
I am. I am. A revolutionary.
There was a lot of things going on.
People asserting their rights.
A lot of ferment in the big areas.
Something different was happening
with African-American culture.
It had come into its own.
Richard showed up.
And gave it new life.
There used to be
some beautiful black man,
would come through
the neighbourhood,
dressed in African shit.
Really nice shit, you know.
They'd be, "Peace, love, black is beautiful.
"Remember the essence of life.
We are people of the universe.
"Life is beautiful." My parents go,
"That Nigger crazy."
No-one had heard him using
the N-word the way he does.
He was just starting to do that.
He was tiptoeing into it.
In comedy, you'd just never heard
anything like this.
Richard would nudge this audience
to some kind of feeling
about who they really were.
So, he's telling the joke.
And, er, white guy in the back
"You ought to be glad
I've got a sense of humour."
Richard said, "Yeah, I am glad
you've got a sense of humour,
"because I know
what you do to us Niggers."
He was acutely aware of the dynamics
of political, racial segregation.
I'd hate to be white...
This audience that
he was playing to was as hip
an audience as you could get.
And they weren't sure
they were going to go along.
That's how radical Richie was.
I think he was very conscious
of what he was doing.
Richard knew how to drop
atomic bomb words.
He knew that words were powerful.
They accidentally shoot more Niggers
out here than any place in the world.
Every time you pick up a paper,
"Nigger accidentally shot
in the ass."
How do you accidentally shoot
a Nigger six times in the chest?
"Well, my gun fell
and just went crazy."
He was fully blown as Richie Pryor.
It was astonishing.
His point of view, his attack
on the culture from every version.
No holds barred.
Not thinking about a career.
Not thinking about what you have
to do to be right and wrong.
He wasn't a civil rights leader,
like you would say Louie Newton
or Martin Luther King.
But he was somebody who inculcated
the spirit of the movement.
Richard, in Berkeley, was, you know,
a lovable person.
But Berkeley's not the world.
You had to meet the monster.
You had to go through Hollywood.
# Where do I go
when this world forsakes me
# Who do I turn to
when they put me down?
# You are my hope when they all
can't stop me
# You're my beginning, my middle
My end... #
I met Richard Pryor in 1972.
At an upscale garden party
in Beverly Hills.
I asked him what he was doing,
and he said, "Nothing."
I said,
"I know you're doing nothing,
"but what are you working at?"
He said, "I'm not working
at anything. I'm unemployed."
I said, "How long have you been
unemployed?" He said, "A long time."
I said, "Really?
Who's managing you?" "Nobody."
"Whose agenting you?" "Nobody."
He didn't really have any place
to go at that time,
so he took a job,
doing punch-up lines for Red Fox.
I thought, "This is not right."
So, I said to Richie,
"Let's record an album."
Don't ever marry a white woman
in California.
A lot of you sisters are probably,
"Don't marry a white woman anyway,
"Why should you be happy?"
Sisters look at you
like you killed your mama
when you're out with a white woman.
You can't laugh
that shit off either.
"She's not with me."
Richard said, "Look, I know that you
like it and I know that I like it.
"Black people don't like this."
I said, "Richard, I can't
answer that. I don't know."
He said, "Let's hope so.
If not, we're both out of business."
I don't know how you feel
about the title of your album,
but I find it difficult to say.
You do.
Most white people,
it's hard to say "crazy".
No, the title. You tell them the
title of the album. I can't say that.
The title of the album is
"That Nigger's Crazy."
See now, you can just say that.
If I said that, won't you get mad?
I'd punch you out.
When I was in my college years,
we'd get together
and play Richard Pryor LPs
and have listening parties.
My father was fun.
"Hey, bitch, where the food?"
"Goddamn mother, come on.
Oh, you motherfucker!"
Saying "fuck" in those days
was unheard of.
They had blue laws, for crying
out loud. It was just a secret.
It was like learning how to say,
"Motherfucker, bitch. Kiss my ass."
The people that had it first, I don't
know why. They were pimps and hos.
This is the only guy really touching
on some shit like,
"Oh, taboo to other people.
Don't go there."
He was the Messiah - the messenger.
For the real Niggers in the streets
that wanted to express
themselves but couldn't.
The album was a Grammy award winner.
Number one on the R&B charts
in 1974 for five weeks,
which is unheard of for
a comedy album in the R&B charts.
This was a time when Richard
was moving up very quickly.
It was rather like
being fired out of a cannon.
We hardly ever went
to two gigs in sequence.
From LA, to Washington, back to LA,
to New York, back to LA.
You use the term, "Nigger."
Now, does the black community get
on you for using that on a show?
Sure. How do you answer that?
What do you say?
I say, "Nigger, get out of my face!"
People were fascinated with Richard,
especially white people.
They never heard anybody talk like
that. They were fascinated.
How could this young, black person
have this kind of power?
That's power.
When he would drive down and perform,
word would spread.
Everybody got on the phone and said,
"Richard's at The Comedy Store."
The word got out so quickly
that Richard was backstage
at The Comedy Store.
By the time he got on,
there wasn't a comedian in town
who wasn't in the audience.
I took some acid once, too. A white
dude get me some. At a party.
"This is far out."
Get the fuck out of my face!
About 20 minutes later,
I left the party. I can't breathe!
I don't remember how to breathe!
"I told you it was far out."
When he performed, he would sometimes
make a couple of notes
on the back of an envelope
of some of the things he might do.
He never worked out in advance what
his... It wasn't really a routine.
Every night,
you see something different
that you hadn't seen before.
He would do a riff here and a riff
there. Just spontaneously.
What kind of shit
are you handing me?
What the fuck is it? I don't know
what you're handing me to sign.
What the fuck does it say on it?
Champagne! Listen, I ain't signing
for no goddamn champagne.
He was always doing something new.
All of a sudden, "Oh, my God,
look what he's doing now!"
He wasn't just telling jokes,
he was telling stories.
And stories that were so vivid
and so funny
that you had to stay with him.
And you think, "OK, that's amazing."
I mean, he just had
that laser-like wit.
Bringing so much tenderness
to it. Doing the wino on the street.
I'm going to help you, boy, because
I think you've got potential.
That's right. You can do
with some money. You're shot.
You know what I mean?
Try some of that.
Don't you drop it, Nigger.
Put it safe.
Watching the world...
If these were my kids, I would never
have known but for Richard Pryor.
What a colourful world it is
that he paints.
He'd go out and he'd do two minutes,
three minutes - sometimes,
if the wind was right,
he'd do four or five minutes.
Eventually, there'd
be about 40 minutes of material.
In those 40 minutes of material,
he knew then he could get
from there to a concert.
I discovered masturbating
by accident.
I'm not lying.
I was about ten. I was in a tub.
And that's when you used to hold
your dick with two fingers.
I'm on to something here.
I bet Dad don't know about this.
He understood how to excavate
the human soul on stage
in front of 600 people
without blinking.
First time I came to ejaculate,
it scared the fuck out of me.
I thought something was wrong.
I just went, this woman, "Look,
what the fuck you've done there!"
About an hour later, I was back.
"Can you do it again?"
I think if comedy was a woman
I'm in love with,
I know Richard Pryor
would just fuck the shit out of her.
He'd fuck her in every orifice
of her body.
Can I...? Is there anywhere this guy
didn't fucking put his prints on?
Richard had become big
in the live concert,
doing his brand of risque humour.
These large audiences
were fascinated with Richard.
He had not crossed into film.
Somehow, Berry Gordy
tracked him down and wanted him
to audition for the role
of Piano Man in the film
he was about to do of Billie Holiday,
which was going to star Diana Ross.
Lady Sings The Blues, when Richard
auditioned, they let him do improv.
You can't let Richard to improv,
he'll steal the show.
Which he did. The rest is history.
Everybody got
a room full of girls at home.
You're just going to be another one.
Billie, you've got too much going.
You don't need this.
He was huge in Lady Sings The Blues.
It sealed it for him
in terms of his performance
and having the audience crave
to see more of him.
We're coming.
That part got bigger
and bigger and bigger.
By the time they finished
cutting that movie,
Richard was co-star in that movie.
I met him in '72. He wasn't that
famous, but the word was out.
I said to him, why don't you meet me
for breakfast? He said, "Breakfast.
"OK. I'll meet you at four."
I said, "Four?!"
I told him about a black sheriff
in 1874. He loved the idea.
He just loved it.
I said, "I'm going to fight for you
to be the lead in Blazing Saddles."
I said, "Look, I'm going to write it
like a gang comedy.
"Anybody got a good idea, it's in.
We're all going to be equal.
"I will be a little more equal
than anybody else,
"but we're all going to be equal
and we're all going to have fun.
"I want you to be
one of the writers."
He called me up.
And said, "Listen, I would like
to be the star of that film,
"Blazing Saddles.
That would be terrific."
This is going to be something big.
I wrote most of the black jokes,
and Richard wrote
most of the Mongo jokes.
He was like this big, tough baby.
Richard wrote lines like,
"Mongo only pawn in game of life."
He wrote these meshuggener,
wacky lines.
The next day, he showed
up in my apartment with cigars
and a very expensive Dunhill
lighter, and I said, "What's this?"
He said, "We're going to be signing
a lot of contracts."
Somebody high up at Warner Brothers
had heard
that Richard was doing drugs
and Richard was unreliable
and I was fighting.
He said, "We appreciate
his contribution as a writer.
"It's the starring role.
We won't star him in the picture."
It got to the fucking board
of Warner Brothers,
where he lost on some vote,
and that was it. You know.
He wished that he got
the starring role.
That was a disappointment,
a major disappointment.
Just put him over the edge
when they said that.
And he became high,
so high and out of control.
So he decided to shoot up the house.
We had a huge saltwater fish tank -
150 gallons. It was huge.
And, of course, it killed
all the fish and buckled the floor
and shot the Charlie Parker painting
that was hanging above the fireplace.
A huge Charlie Parker painting.
He shot him in the heart.
It's really hard
to live in Hollywood.
It's so controlled by white men.
Very hard to do anything, because
they're so greedy. So insecure.
He decided he was going to fire
everyone and start all over.
New lawyers, new agent, new manager.
He called Ron
and just said it was over.
I mean, it was a pretty harsh,
cold moment.
So, what became
of the change of heart?
He said, "I don't know, man.
Just did."
I puzzled over that
for many, many years.
I don't movies when they don't have
no Niggers in them.
I went to see Logan's Run, right.
They had a movie of the future
called Logan's Run,
and there ain't no Niggers in it.
I said, "Well, white folks
ain't planning for us to be here."
That's why we've got to make movies.
David was a very powerful black
manager, based out of Atlanta.
Very militant. Very pro-black.
Very, very smart.
A gift for making huge deals
and huge money.
And Hollywood loved David.
David Franklin was a pudgy,
brilliant, black man, who stuttered.
And Richard loved that.
He said, "Because he st-st-utters,
he can ge-get sympathy."
So, David went on to manage Richard,
be his agent and act as his lawyer.
Other than Richard's pure talent,
David was absolutely responsible for
Richard becoming really big in film.
We did nine or ten pictures together.
The first of them, The Bingo Long
Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings,
about the Negro National Leagues.
Like batting averages.
See, you take the number of times
a man been in bat
and you divide that by the number
of times a man got a hit.
Like me, I've been in bat 100 times.
I've got 25 hits. That's simple.
25 goes into 100 four times. It
gives me a batting average of four.
That's wrong.
That ain't no way to do that.
The second film was Car Wash.
I wasn't going to make
that movie without Richard.
Believe in the Lord and, most of
all, believe in that federal dream.
I remember the day that David came
back from a meeting with Richard,
driving a brand-new Rolls-Royce.
He must have been doing something
that was making Richard pretty happy
for Richard to give him
a brand-new Rolls-Royce as a gift.
Right at that moment,
the notion that he could hold
the lead in a picture was a totally
unproven notion.
Take this radio.
When you step out of here,
you got
to step out of here like king shit.
Right, you bad.
Put that radio to your ear.
That's going to help cover
your face.
Just move with the rhythm
of the music.
Move your body
with the rhythm of the music.
That's all you've got to do now.
Let me see you try.
Step to the music.
Step to the music. Yeah.
Step to the music. Stop.
How come you whities got such
a tight ass, man? Do it.
Can't you feel it?
He basically launched a new genre
of comedy.
Interracial buddy comedy.
This was a new kind of formula
for comedy in Hollywood.
He broke the glass ceiling.
He made earning a certain amount
of money for black people
that was not
possible at that time, possible.
One of the films I did with him,
called Which Way Is Up?,
I designed the film
around his stand-up routine.
Come on, Bob, get your ass
out here. Richard played himself.
He played his father.
Fuck you!
I heard that. Fuck you too, boy!
And he played a bootleg preacher.
What kind of lowlife dog, scoundrel,
snake in the grass...
This was the first black film
that ever did multiple characters.
Richard would come and say,
"Come to watch this."
I come upstairs and he said, "Look!"
I look out the window,
and, by the swimming pool,
would be sitting famous
white people - famous producers.
Dying to be allowed
to come up the stairs,
up to the place where we were.
Do you ever go home? Yes, I do.
I'm not allowed in Peoria any more.
I didn't know that.
When you make some money, Negros
don't want you in town no more.
He desired to be
the biggest star in entertainment.
As big as Cosby, as big as Poitier.
He also wanted to be
the blackest star. You know.
As black as Malcolm X.
Bird head. Cracker.
Spear checker. White trash.
Jungle bunny. Honky.
His appearances
on Saturday Night Live were very
instrumental in walking the
very thin line between what was
acceptable on television
and his mind.
Nigger. Dead honky.
My grandmother would walk
by the living room and she'd say,
"Are you watching that Negro again?"
It was the only black
person my grandmother would allow
in the house was Richard Pryor.
The audiences absolutely loved it.
The network loved it.
That's why the network
went after him
and said, "We want you to do
a television show."
We had the best time.
When you have the support of someone
who carries that much weight,
it trickles down to everybody to be
courageous and crazy.
Mr President, Mr President. Yes.
Mr President,
since you've become President,
you've been courting
an awful lot of white women.
Will this continue?
As long as I can keep it up.
I actually hired
a court stenographer,
because the ideas were...
One day he walked
into the conference room,
he jumped on the table and said,
"Let Bojaws handle it."
We didn't know who Bojaws was.
What do you say?
Are you crippled?
Let Bojaws handle it.
Bojaws was this weird medicine man
that lived in the Louisiana bayou.
Healing people. Mr Bojaws,
I've got a bad arm.
I can't move it.
He's got a bad arm
and he can't move it.
Let Bojaws handle it.
It was ground-breaking
within the rules of how mundane
television was at the time. There's
a lot of things written about me.
People wondering
if I'm going to have a show,
if I'm not going to have a show.
Well, I'm having a show.
People say, "How can you have
a show? You've got to compromise.
"You've got to give up everything."
Is that a joke or what?
Well, look at me!
I'm standing here naked.
I've given up absolutely nothing.
So, enjoy the show.
It was pretty crazy.
It was wonderful.
He was always pushing the envelope.
That's when I went, wow!
That was the best thing, the start
of the season. It was like, wow!
He was always between two worlds.
He was between that acceptable,
sort of mainstream white world,
and, of course, a much stronger,
harder, knowing street place.
But the networks were
so leery of him, so scared of him.
The show was supposed
to air that night.
NBC censored the opening.
Called Richard at home and said,
"You know we're going to edit out
the naked opening.
"It caused a shit storm."
He quit.
The first thing to start off going,
"This is my attempt
to make a statement.
If they don't air that, that really
sets the rules. OK.
You're not going to let me do what
I'm going to do.
Richard came back and, after
pleasantries, Richard said,
"Television chews you up and spits
you out, and I don't want that
"to happen to me, so I've decided
not to do the series."
He went to NBC, and they said
Richard had to do the show.
They weren't going to let him
off the hook.
From the looks of things,
I'll be seeing you next time.
NBC made sure of that.
I'm not going anywhere.
They kept saying,
you've got to be more mainstream.
He was going, "No, fuck you.
No, we can't."
If it wasn't real, fuck you.
You know what I mean?
He wasn't compromising.
Rocco is the token
white person on the show.
He wanted a lot of changes made.
More black people
involved in production staff.
He only wanted
three whities to come back.
We're in a rehearsal hall one day,
and a guy walks in with an African
cap, a dashiki and a stick.
I said, "Richard, who is that guy?"
He said,
"His name is Prophet Jennings.
"He's a Nigger expert."
Who was the one to judge
whether Richard was black enough?
Richard looked at him, and he'd
either go like this or like that.
I love American people.
I want to say, I had two for lunch.
In the end,
they demanded that he do stand-up,
which didn't sit well with him,
making demands on him.
So they recorded 45 minutes
of him doing stand-up.
They had ten seconds they could use.
A lot of people here
might be offended.
So you should leave, because
I'm going to say fuck and suck.
And shit and doo-doo.
It's amazing that he got things
on that he got on, but it's only
because 90% of what
he wanted to get on he didn't get on
that 10% of it
actually got through them,
because they couldn't fight with him
that much.
Those bells again!
That was it. He went out swinging.
Well, good night. See you next week.
And we're delighted to have
with us two of the very best friends
I have who dropped by,
Miss Pam Grier and Mr Richard Pryor.
Richard was dating Pam Grier. You
know, she was crazy about that guy.
We bumped into each other on the set
of Greased Lightning, in which
we were both starring in, which
will be released some time in April.
You say you bumped
into each other. Yes, we bumped.
That must have been
quite a collision.
I know that Richard's grandmother
wanted Richard to marry Pam.
She thought she was certainly
an accomplished actress.
She was black and she was a healthy
girl. She wasn't a party girl.
I'll be jogging in the morning,
Me and Rashan, two black men,
will be jogging.
We're not robbing anything.
Richard was completely sober.
He played tennis
every morning at seven o'clock.
It was a Richard I had not seen.
Richard came into my office
and said,
"I'm getting married tomorrow."
I'll be late.
I said, "Wow! Congratulations!"
That's fucking great.
# Baby, save me
# From this heart of mine... #
I had a cake this big.
Congratulations, Richard and Pam.
# I can't sleep at night
It's taking over... #
My phone rings and Pam says,
"You tell the son of a bitch
"I'm coming down
and I'm going to kill him."
Richard Pryor had married a girl
he got pregnant. And he walks in.
I start moving the cake out.
He looks at the cake and realises
it's Pamela there
and here's Richard
with this other woman.
There was a prompt card,
and it had plastic flowers on.
I shoved it
in the middle of the cake,
to blur out Pam and Richard.
A lot of people were surprised
that Richard married Deborah,
because it did come out of,
sort of come out of nowhere.
There were many women
in Richard's life.
I recognised and he told me this,
that they wouldn't be around
that long.
This is about the time
I'd been married,
and it was really exciting
because I really am trying,
I really am trying.
I'm telling you I'm fucking trying,
But it's hard to wake up and see the
same person all the fucking time.
Richard had, I done forgotten now.
Eight, nine, 12 wives. I don't know.
But I know that all of them was what
they was to him when they was.
Was once was.
Richard had a pimp's mentality.
He pretends like he's controllable.
He's like a spider.
That's to lure you in till you get
caught in the web.
Richard had a compulsion
to be married,
because he didn't want to be alone.
But once he would marry,
the magic would be off.
It would be gone because he won. If
he wanted you, you had that power.
And usually that would
just about last until he got you.
And then it would be time to go
after another woman.
And that was the game with Richard.
Then the whole
fun of the game was,
"How do I get this bitch
out of my house?"
I was the best man at a wedding
with Jennifer in Hana, Maui.
And the next morning after
the wedding, I was in my room,
and about seven in the morning,
there is a knock on the door.
I go and open the door,
and there's Richard Pryor.
I said, "Richard, what are you doing
here at seven in the morning?"
And he says, "I want a divorce."
No, I'd like to die like my father
Right, my father died fucking.
He did. My father was 57 when
he died, right. The woman was 18.
My father came and went
at the same time.
Would you like to introduce our next
guest? Yes, who? Your grandmother.
Oh, man, don't do that.
I'm told that you run
a pool hall. Yes, I do.
Did Richard spend much
time in the pool hall?
Yes, he used to come down there
and shoot pool after school.
They used to cuss in the pool
room before she took over.
Now the language is, "Why you..."
I keep them in their place.
See, I'm an old lady
and I stay in old ladies place
and I respect them young men,
and they must respect me, isn't that right?
That's exactly right.
I remember meeting Marie Carter.
She's a grandmother
that you see in books.
She had the long white hair
and she was dressed very smart.
I bow to her. And this old bitch
hit me in my chest so hard.
And I felt the breath leave out
and before I let her hit me again,
I rushed and started choking.
And he started laughing at me.
She'd laugh like it was
the funniest shit she had seen.
And Richard stood to the left and he
said, "That's my grandmother, man."
I was born Richard Franklin Lennox
Thomas Pryor III.
I got names from pimps
and gangsters.
Grew up seeing my mother
go into rooms with men
and my aunties go into rooms
with men.
I remember tricks used to come
through our neighbourhood.
That's where I first met
white people.
They come down through our
neighbourhood to help the economy.
Man, but I met nice white men.
"Hello, little boy, is your mother
home? I'd like a blowjob."
When he told us about it, we
laughed. "Get the fuck out of here.
"Your mother sucked dick?"
We didn't really grasp it.
And when you realise it really
happened. It wasn't jokes.
It makes us, if you didn't have that
experience go, "What is that like?"
And how do you maintain love?
His uncle and his daddy were pimps.
I'm talking about not no play pimps,
real pimps.
Them guys would pimp a Barbie doll.
"Bitch, go out and get the money."
The grandmother was the madam
in chief of the whole operation.
Basically, keep the girls in line.
Keep the johns in line.
That's when I realised who she was.
In terms of this is the whole house,
she runs everything.
You know, she lived in the south
side in Peoria
and she could sleep with
the door unlocked.
People knew you're not coming
up in this house.
You know if you do come up in the house,
you know what's going to happen.
The grandmother was
the matriarch of the family,
upon whom everybody else's
survival depended.
She was Richard's nurturer,
the punisher, the disciplinarian.
Everything rolled into one.
My grandmother would wake my ass up,
you know.
"Get your ass, put your hand up.
Don't you run from me.
"Don't you run... from... me."
You were 15 years old when your first
child was born? Yeah. Yeah.
How could you... It was fun.
And then after she was born?
I didn't know my father was
making love to her too.
And I was standing in the dining
room crying.
My mother said,
"What's wrong with the boy, Bucky?"
My father said,
"Ain't nothing wrong with him.
"He got some girl pregnant."
I think, when you grow
up around a bordello, you see
people at their very core, in a way.
There's no facade,
there's no masks on.
I don't know what it was
that made me that way,
that could laugh at anything.
Nothing was too sad, some humour
could not be found in it.
His sensitivity made him
so brilliant as a comedian.
But some things were so painful
that he wanted to be somewhere else.
I think if you are a sensitive
type that it...
that you self-medicate.
It's easier to self-medicate.
I snorted cocaine for about 15
years. I must have snorted up Peru.
He'd do a line and drink some
Courvoisier. That's lunch.
Go back to work.
Watching Dad doing drugs, you know,
doing some lines or smoking...
those were things
that you didn't really question.
Listen, I was doing so much,
I embarrassed cocaine dealers.
They would say,
"Richard, man, God damn.
"Well, how much do you want?"
"Just for the weekend."
A lot of people came to the house
to play cards, hang out.
For the drugs, of course,
because he bought coke by the key.
Low-lifes, drug dealers,
card people, hookers.
I don't like cocaine, I love it.
And that's why
I have to stay away from it.
I enjoyed it for a long time.
Maybe you want to change
your whole life
and you swear tomorrow
I'll never do this again.
Success doesn't change you.
It only magnifies
who you've been all your life.
And success magnified
the kid from Peoria with Richard.
But now he had endless money,
endless fame.
When he would betray himself,
which he did with some frequency,
he thought that that betrayal
belonged to everyone else.
If he was in a particularly
good mood
and he was being nice to everybody,
he could charm
anyone on the set and then he would
go home that night and stew
and say, "What kind of Tom am I?
I'm everybody's black pal."
And the next day, he would be mean.
Richard was about
13 different personalities.
Nine of them you could deal with.
But them other four could be
a motherfucker now.
Richard was very intense...
..about his personal pride. And
he didn't care where it took him.
There was a huge benefit for gay
pride at the Hollywood Bowl.
A lot of performers
were at the Hollywood Bowl
to lend their support,
Richard being one of them.
Richie came on, and the audience
was waiting for him.
Great applause, and he said,
"You know,
"I've sucked some cock myself." That
was the first thing that he said.
I thought, "Uh-oh. Here we go." But
the audience, of course, cheered.
And then he went on to just
really go a little nuts.
They wanted to shock,
because it was the truth.
And the truth defends itself.
And it was quiet.
It was quiet. You could hear a rat
pissing on cotton in Georgia.
I mean, it was real quiet.
Y'all can just kiss my rich,
black ass.
And walked off. So...
Centre stage. Hello, everybody.
I'm terribly embarrassed
and I don't know what to
say about what just happened.
But I do think...
May I please finish talking?
They stood up.
Booing, hissing, throwing some
It was the scariest event
that I've ever been at.
Everyone in showbusiness was there.
I thought, "We're never going
to hear from him again."
I got a call from David Franklin,
and he said, "Ce-Ce-Cecil,"
cos he stuttered.
He said,
"R-Richard fucked up l-last night."
So I drove over to Richard's house,
and nobody was in the house.
I went out, and he was
sitting by a swimming pool.
He was smoking a cigarette,
and he had a scotch
and an orange juice
and vodka was his drink.
And I said, "Man, what happened?"
He said, "Man, fuck it, man.
He said, "I just told them to kiss
my ass." "But why?"
He said,
"If that's the way they want me,
"I don't have a career
any damn way."
It wasn't Hollywood that beat him
in any way.
He defeated himself
with what his bad habits were.
Pryor went to court
because of an incident
at his home on New Year's Day.
He's been charged with two counts
of assault with a deadly weapon
and one count of felony
malicious mischief.
I don't want to never see no more
police in my life.
At my house.
Taking my ass to jail.
For killing my car.
I shot the motor. The motor fell
out of the motherfucker.
The motor say, "Fuck it."
Then the police came.
I went into the house.
Cos they got Magnums too.
And they don't kill
cars... they kill nigg-ah.
You know, Richard Pryor
was always in the news.
Richard Pryor shoots his car.
Richard Pryor has a heart attack.
He ran into these tragedies
one after another.
But you also knew that three months
would go by or six months
would go by or a year
would go by, and then
he was going to bring
this experience back to you.
Anyone here ever had a heart attack?
Them motherfuckers hurt.
I'm not bullshitting, man.
I was walking in the front yard.
I was just walking along,
and something said, "Don't breathe."
I said, "Huh?"
"You heard me, motherfucker.
"I said, 'Don't breathe.'"
"OK, I won't breathe."
"Then shut the fuck up, then." "OK.
"Don't kill me." "Get on one knee
and prove it." "I'm on one knee."
"Thinking about dying now, ain't you?"
"Yeah, I'm thinking about dying."
"You didn't think about it
when you was eating all that pork."
We was on the road
and seen Marie Carter
every day while she was dying.
We'd do the shows,
go check on his grandmother.
She said, "You watch out for my boy."
She was dying, and basically they
said, "You have to get here now."
So we rushed there.
We went into her hospital room.
I remember she touched
his camel-hair coat.
And said, "That's blue azure.
"Is it warm enough?"
And he said,
"Yes, Mom, it's warm enough."
We went back to the hotel,
and she died a few hours later.
Like my grandmother, Marie,
used to say, "They can kill you,
"but they can't eat you."
I love you, Grandmother.
Wherever you are.
She was his conduit to reality,
to the world.
To everything that tethered him
to earth.
And I really think that that's
when he started to come apart.
Dr Al Canning came
and told Richard and he said,
"When you finish going
through this...
"..go to Africa. You need to find
out something about yourself."
MUSIC: "Stand Up"
by Lee Fields and Sugarmen & Co
# Stand up
# Let's get it right
# Stand up
# Let's keep it tight. #
I went home to the motherland.
I was going to find my roots.
700 million black people - not
one of them motherfuckers knew me.
I looked in every
phone book in Africa.
I didn't find one goddamn Pryor.
What he saw was black people
who were walking around.
Everybody was professional, everybody
had their own lives and purpose.
And he felt really at home
on that land.
I was sitting in the hotel,
and a voice said to me, he said,
"Look around,"
said, "do you see any niggers?"
I said, "No." "You know
why? Cos there aren't any."
And it made me think,
"Oh, my God. I've been wrong.
I said, "I ain't going to never
call another black man nigger."
He really had this epiphany
that he was never going to use
the word again.
When he came back, he said,
"I'm not going to use that no more."
And he stuck with it.
When he went to Africa,
the word had no meaning.
But on the streets of Detroit,
it might be something else.
He'd tell the same joke,
just take nigger out.
"Oh, he's not funny no more."
So, the punchline
was nigger for y'all?
And that bothered him that
some people just wouldn't elevate.
He was at such a point
of a growth spurt.
And he didn't want the job.
You know, I'm a fucking artist. I do
what I do. Leave me the fuck alone.
And shortly thereafter
freebase was introduced.
At the time,
everybody was doing cocaine.
We were snorting cocaine.
A lot changed when everybody
switched from snorting cocaine
to freebasing cocaine.
Somehow, everybody knew that
this was a really bad thing,
that turned dark.
And he found freebase.
And after two weeks of watching him
get really addicted to this stuff,
I moved out, because it was clear
the drug had moved in and it had
become his lover, his everything.
And I didn't exist any more.
Richard wasn't an addict.
He was a flat-out full-blown junkie.
I mean, he might be clean for
four days but be drinking booze.
Be clean for a week
but just snorting a little coke.
So he was not honest with himself.
June 9th, 1980.
Richard had walked off the set
of Stir Crazy a few days earlier.
The freebase had been escalating.
He was not able to stop.
Richard was so coked out that he
began withdrawing large sums
of money out of the bank.
And I'm talking like 500,000,
100,000, another 250,000.
He was hiding it at his house.
Rashan had called.
He was calling and recruiting several
people that he felt were close
enough to Richard to come to the
To rescue Richard to try to get
Richard to stop.
Richard was in a very scary place.
Richard didn't just have
a couple of ounces of cocaine.
I'm talking about a mound
of cocaine on his bed.
On the bed.
And he had the pipe and the torch,
and he wasn't going to put it down.
You could see that
he was absolutely manic.
When I saw him,
I didn't know him any more.
He looked like something had
been taken from him.
You know, some spirit had been
ripped out of him.
He was high. We were watching
the Vietnam special.
Where they were showing the monks
protest to the war.
And this particular monk
took gasoline
and poured it on himself
and he lit it.
I said to Richard,
"Look at this man's commitment."
And Richard looked at me and said,
"Fuck his commitment,
he didn't even flinch."
He laughed.
And I went up to go to the kitchen.
On my way back to the room, a ball
of fire is running towards me.
And I just jumped out of the way.
I seen it run past me, and I got up
against the wall,
and it run down this long hallway
and then outside
and then I see it outside, running.
Ball of fire.
In Richard's room before I leave,
there was a fifth of 151 rum.
3/4ths of the bottle was gone.
I got a call saying that Richard
was in an ambulance on the way
to the Grossman Burn Centre.
I called Dr Grossman, who I knew.
And I said, "This guy is my friend.
"Make sure he lives."
This is my impression of a heart
talking to a brain.
What do you want?
You've been naughty.
Go to hell.
Don't make me angry, brain.
Drop dead.
The police had just
brought in a burn victim
who had been running down the street.
And he was awake.
He had burns of his face, neck,
chest, abdomen, back and arms.
That was like 35-40%
of his body burnt.
Dr Grossman told me that based
on the severe extent of those burns,
there was almost no chance
he would live.
I flew back to Los Angeles
and went the Sherman Oaks Burn Centre
where everyone else was having
a vigil about Richard.
The word kept coming out.
Everybody kept saying
that Richard had died.
When he got burned, all of them
showed up at the hospital.
And I had to turn
to a security guard.
I said, "Them bitches
was about to kill people
"if you couldn't let him
go to the burns centre."
I told the doctor's,
"He's on Courvoisier,
he's on vodka, he's on cocaine."
Cos I knew, you give him morphine,
you could overdose him.
On my desk at the studio, I had
a phone that Mr Wasserman,
the chairman of the company,
used to call me on, and nobody
else used that phone.
It ran at ten o'clock one morning.
And I said, "Hello,"
and I heard a voice say...
And I said, "Who's this?"
And I realised it's Richard.
And he said...
"Am I going to die?"
And I said, "No, Richard,
you're not going to die."
And then he hung up.
And I called the doctor, I said,
"There's a fucking phone in
Richard's room next to his bed."
And he said, "What?!"
Comedian Richard Pryor,
critically burned Monday night,
was sitting up in
his hospital bed today
and eating Cream of Wheat
and talking to his doctors.
They said his chance of recovery
was still only about one in three,
but they were more optimistic
than they were yesterday.
All day long, I've been hearing
that he's improving.
Is there still a chance
he would die?
I want you to understand
that you have a man who still has
a 50% burn on third-degree nature...
who's very, very sick.
And until all of that burn tissue
is taken off of his body...
and covered with grafts - which will
require a number of operations -
he's going to be that sick.
A burn, you know, you got to let it
form a scab first before,
then you got to brush that off.
He was crying like
a baby, rightly so.
And when that guy hit that brush
and did all this here,
I could see not the pain at that
time but the pain in his life.
That come back.
Cos he starts talking.
"Mom, I didn't mean to do it.
"Mama, I didn't want to do it."
Everybody had said
it was an accident.
He said, "No, no,
I did it on purpose.
"I poured the rum on myself
and lit myself on fire."
Now keep in mind he was high,
so whether it was... unconscious suicide attempt
or a conscious suicide
attempt, who knows?
But he definitely deliberately
set himself on fire.
I just think he was
in a pain at that moment.
And liked to smoke.
but to what, he don't know.
Junkies are just dumb.
They do dumb shit.
They set themselves on fire.
But then I'm sure he went, "What's
that smell? Hey, I think that's me.
"Aargh!" And that's what
he basically says he did.
It's almost like jumping
off a building.
And then you lived.
You fucked up.
But you lived.
I tried to commit suicide.
That's all I want to say.
Next question.
It didn't work.
Yes, it did.
You killed the old Richard Pryor?
Yeah, that person's dead.
Was a horrible man.
An executive from one
of the studios called me
and asked me to go see him,
because he needed help.
So I flew over to Maui,
and he came out to greet me.
I could see the burns all over him.
And I was kind of taken aback.
And I remember he looked down, he
said, "Don't worry, my junk is OK.
"I still got my junk."
I thought, "OK!" And I shook
his hand, and we started talking.
And I learned that he was dead
broke, owned money to the IRS.
And he thought his career was over.
What we discovered was there
was a lot of inconsistencies,
financial inconsistencies.
Richard suspected that
David Franklin
and his lawyers were cheating him.
People came in and they uncovered
a lot of these business dealings
that were crooked.
Richard sued David Franklin.
And got a million dollars back,
but the most important thing
to Richard was getting David
to apologise to him.
That was more important to Richard
than the million dollars.
I had to figure out where
he was financially,
and he owed a lot of money
to a lot of people,
and I came up with an idea
for him to do a concert movie.
He was really needing to heal.
And the lawyer said to him, "You got
to get back on that horse now,
"it's your time. If you don't it now,
you're never going to do it.
"They're going to forget you."
The worst thing Richard
could have done was come back.
He wanted to go back to work.
You got to understand something,
you don't make Richard Pryor
do anything.
Richard Pryor has to WAN to do whatever he's doing.
I'm going to see Richard Pryor!
He better be funny!
Tell Richard he better be funny.
The who's who of Hollywood,
they filled the theatre
up at the Palladium.
Then Richard got on stage.
And it was the worst show
I've ever seen him do.
Where was I?
I was here - what's the date?
This camera's looking at me.
MAN: You're doing fine! Thank you,
brother, I needed to hear that.
He started doing his act backwards.
And he got confused.
It was rough, and you just
knew it wasn't going to be OK.
That mother...
The Lord doesn't want
me to smoke it.
MAN: Burn it up.
Burn it up.
Tough group.
Richard didn't feel
it was a perfect fit.
The audience didn't think it was.
Let me say this to you, this is
honest, this shit didn't work.
For me, I mean...
I know y'all laugh
at something... I feel...
I wanted it to be something else
that it's not, it's just not there.
It's just there right at this
moment in time and space, for me.
And I hope that nobody feels
cheated or nothing, cos at least
you're getting to see
a motherfucker crucify himself.
He was supposed to do 90 minutes,
he did about an hour.
And walked out.
I thought there was going
to be a riot.
He disappeared.
Of course I was concerned,
but I also know Richard.
And I knew how resilient he was.
And I knew that he'd come back.
The next day, same show, place.
He was so upset and he
told all the people that,
"I'm going to
do it all over for you again,
"cos I messed the first one up."
He was going back on stage again.
He would be accepted or rejected.
Embraced or pushed aside.
There was something within him
that said, "Go forward."
The show was flawless.
All my friends know this to be true,
cos everybody knows me,
I usually, before I go to bed,
I have milk and cookies.
And one night, I had
some low-fat milk...
and some pasteurised,
and I mixed them together...
and I dipped my cookie,
and the shit blew up.
The audience went nuts.
I mean, I think the laughter
was at least 15 minutes.
I'll tell you one thing,
when that fire hits your ass...
that will sober your ass up quick.
I mean, I was standing there
on fire, and someone said,
"Why that's a pretty blue.
"You know what?
"That looks like... FIRE!"
And you know something I found out?
When you're on fire and running
down the street,
people will get out of your way.
Except for one old drunk
who's going,
"Hey, buddy, can I get a light?"
His latest performance,
Live On The Sunset Strip,
made his runaway
with the top box office spot.
Made 8 million in three days.
Would you welcome Richard Pryor?
Pryor's firm, headed by long-time
friend Jim Brown,
entered into a 40 million,
five-year deal
with Columbia Pictures.
Richard wanted very badly to elevate
the status of African-Americans.
Indigo was going to be the first
time that a black person
had a 40 million deal
with a major studio.
And so we were going to do films,
we were going to do this,
do that, we were going
to change the industry.
This was going to be it.
The phone rang, and he said, "It's
Richard. What are you doing?"
I said, "I'm about
to go to the bathroom."
He said, "After you take a shit,
come over to Columbia."
Richard Pryor is getting ready
to prepare for his role
in Jo Jo Dancer. It's a movie
written by himself,
based loosely on incidents
from his own life.
He was an actor and
a producer and a director,
so Richard became a role model.
He hired Jim Brown to run
the company for him.
I think he made a decision
to have somebody tough,
but not somebody who really knew
the film business side of it.
I brought him the
Prince movie, Purple Rain.
And he said, "Great." And then Jim
Brown didn't want to do the movie,
because there wasn't
an all-black crew.
They kind of let a lot
of mistakes happen.
Think that was part of the
reason why that company
didn't take off.
It was a huge disappointment
for black filmmakers.
He really wanted to be who he was.
He wanted to be an artist.
And it was too much pressure.
Richard began this tragic role
where whites came in
and just gave him white scripts.
And that's what did him in.
I think he appeared in a movie
where he was this kid's toy.
His career, as far as we were
concerned, went downhill.
I'm doing a film called
Moving for Warner Brothers.
What's it about?
About two hours too long.
Eddie wrote, produced,
was directing Harlem Nights.
But Richard thought he should have
first credit, not Eddie,
and Eddie was a much bigger
star at that time than Richard.
It was finished then.
The whole thing had been untethered
so long and it never got back.
Went to The Comedy Store.
Richard wasn't there.
So I looked at everybody and said,
"Where's Richard?"
I ran upstairs.
And this comedian...
..had Richard against a wall
with the cocaine...
holding it to Richard's nose.
I went fucking berserk.
And I put him up against the wall,
and his feet were off the floor.
And I'm choking him
and yelling at Richard,
"Da fuck is wrong with you?!"
I went to see him,
and he was back on drugs.
And I could see he was high.
And I said, "Richard...
"this doesn't work for me.
"I'm not going to stand by like
everybody did with John Belushi,
"let you do drugs."
So I said, "You and I are done
unless you go into rehab."
And then he sent me a letter firing
me and accusing me of this and this
and saying I hadn't done this
and I hadn't done that,
all which was a bunch of nonsense.
And he was going back...
to a dark place where he couldn't...
I didn't think would come back from.
He kind of tried drying out
for a while and he said,
he said he was too afraid to go
on stage, he was too vulnerable.
He was really raw.
It looked like... unlike the fire,
this time he gave up.
You just watched him begin
to deteriorate in front of you.
I felt really bad...
that, uh...
..that he was going down
to where I basically tried to help
take him out of. I mean...
I wanted him to have a good life.
I felt... I felt bad for him.
Not for me.
I think it was very self-destructive
on Richard's part.
I think that was a real
meaningful relationship.
A relationship of substance,
I should say.
That had real connection
and real affection.
And somebody really was
watching out for him.
There weren't a lot of those people.
And sometimes...
your best isn't good enough.
And you can't...
save them from themselves.
I remember I hadn't seen him
for a while.
And I went to some
premiere of something.
And he walked up on me
and he had lost so much weight
that I really didn't recognise him.
And then it hit me. I said,
"My God, that's Richard."
I lost 20 pounds to do a film
and I kept losing,
I couldn't get it back, you know?
I got real scared, Johnny, you know
cos I was losing weight,
and my pants were falling down,
and I said, "Something's wrong."
I said, "All these diseases
around, Richard,
"finally it's caught up with you.
"And you have one of them.
"And you're going to die."
So I was very calm about it,
you know, but I'm going to die.
A few months ago,
I was on The Tonight Show
and I was talking to Johnny Carson.
And then the next day, this
lady from the newspaper called
one of my ex-wives and said, "What
do you think's wrong with Richard?"
She said, "I think he has AIDS."
Guaranteeing that I would not get
no pussy until the year 2025.
One day, he called.
I said, "What's the matter?"
He said, "I got something wrong
with my eyes, I can't see straight."
I said, "OK, come over
to the hospital,
"and I'll get my ophthalmologist."
They look at him.
The intensivist doctor, neurologist.
And both of them said,
"He may have MS."
When we was doing Harlem Nights,
I remember saying to Richie,
he was getting ready
to go do a scene,
he had a Bic lighter in his
hand. And I said to him,
"This is a period piece,
they didn't have Bics back then."
Said he keeps a lighter in his hand
to disguise his fist balling up
and what was going on with him.
And that's when he let me
know he had the MS.
Yeah, back in those days, we never
thought it would turn out like that.
People that have it
know what I mean.
The shit fucks
with your nervous system.
When the doctor tells you you've got
it, and then you go, "Oh, I got it?
"What is it?"
I'd never heard a doctor
say "Uhhh," before.
It's a blessing, though.
When you can't walk
and then you have to depend
on others to help you... have to learn to trust them.
Which is very hard for me.
Very hard.
Jennifer came out to handle
his affairs when he was unable,
with the MS,
to do that much for himself.
I came back in '94.
The party was over.
No more cocaine.
That craziness was all gone.
Let's put it behind us and make
some lemonade out of the lemons.
The drug part of it was over.
He was clean from that point on.
He had really learned whatever
it was to be learned from the MS.
It was difficult to visit
Richard when he was sick,
after knowing him
as such a wiry, vital,
athletic type, you know,
moving around and never being,
you know, to all of a sudden
seeing him a wheelchair.
My dick is dead.
No, it died in my hand.
I had it in my hand,
would beat it...
and the dick looked at me
like I was crazy.
"What the fuck's wrong with you?"
"It's not me, it's you,
Even when he got sick,
I mean, him wanting to be on stage
in his declining years, was,
to me, so heroic.
Warren Beatty's limousine
would show up.
This make me cry thinking about it.
And he'd be sitting there
looking out at Richard
and he'd be crying, because...
because he knew what a great
genius Richard was.
Richard Pryor defined the game of
stand-up comedy and comedy itself.
And if you haven't stole
from Richard,
then you're probably not that funny.
And I wanted to tell him that
I wanted to be just like him,
except for the drug habit and
failed marriages and the temper
and the guns.
As much as people felt bad for him,
that man probably had some nights
and some days...
I mean, it'd take a lifetime
to top that motherfucker's week.
The last time I saw him, he was...
wheelchair-bound and unable to
speak. Jennifer took me to see him.
He couldn't talk.
All I could do was, you know,
give him a kiss and tell him,
"I still love you, Richard."
Richard Pryor died this
afternoon of a heart attack
at his home in California.
He was 65.
So... what I'm saying, what the
point I'm trying to make is,
that there is no point to be made.
That's all there is.
There ain't no point to it, cos
you didn't ask to come to this
motherfucker and you sure
can't choose how to leave.
Cos you don't know
when you're going to go.
Don't take this shit sad.
You better have some fun
and plenty of it.
Cos when the shit over and you ask
for a recharge, it's too late.
So all I can say is keep
some sunshine on your face.
Even till the end, Richard never
did know how good he was.
Most people did not understand that.
I never heard him said, "I never
knocked them off their ass tonight."
He always said,
"I'll get them tomorrow."
As the song says, we get back up
again because of boundless mercy.
And that you are a champion,
Richard, you are a champion.
And the ground's no
place for a champion.
So we rise, get up,
go back and do your work.
They've always been
there for Richard.
He's always there for them.
Richard belongs to us.
What do you want to be
remembered for?
I'd like for people...
to see my picture and laugh.
Just see your picture? Yeah.
And laugh and have stories
and tell...
tell some lies on me.
"He made me laugh.
I was there, you know?
"I was there Wednesday when he drove
up in the..." You know, whatever.
Like that. Like... bring joy.
That's how I'd like
to be remembered.