In this film, Richard Pryor portrays 3 characters; Charlie Snow, who also impersonated a Cuban naned "Carlos Nevada", as well as a Native American Indian named "Chief Takahoma". Pryor would soon play 3 roles, again in Which Way Is Up? (1977) released the following year.
The barn-storming antics - while based upon reality, was also familiar to most audience members of the film, as the same playfulness, and razzle-dazzle shown by Bingo Long's Traveleing All-Stars and Motor Kings was practiced by the well-known Harlem Globetrotters, who's history in basketball is almost a direct parallel to the racism of the baseball leagues.
An odd fact; the 2 leads - Messers James Earl Jones, and Billy Dee Williams share names which contain a middle name, as well (Mr. Williams actual middle name is 'December', but shortened for his professional name). Both actors use their full name as the screen union(s - SAG and AFTRA used to be seperate unions) would not allow more than 1 actor to use a (full) name, and as there were 'James Jones', and a Billy (or William) Williams, it enabled them both to legitimately keep their given names, professionally.