Part live stand-up performance, part documentary, this film is one of comedian Richard Pryor's later stand-up performances. As foul-mouthed as ever, Pryor touches on most of the same topics as in his previous live shows.
Chris Rock brings his critically acclaimed brand of social commentary-themed humor to this 1999 standup comedy presentation from HBO. Also released as an album, Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker... See full summary »
This was the first time a stand-up comedian was filmed doing his act, and most people predicted that it would fail. Bill Sargent had the idea of filming Pryor's act, but since most of the industry thought it would flop, they had trouble getting anyone to distribute it, so a few mavericks in the industry distributed it themselves. It was cheap to make, all the profits would be gravy, and the men who made it believed that people would respond to Richard Pryor's act. Video was just coming out and would soon be a force, and Pryor was at the top of his game, and the gamble paid off. Now we take for granted watching stand-up comedy on TV and everywhere else, but at the time bringing a comedy routine to the big screen, especially one as raunchy as Pryor's, was considered a huge risk.
But Pryor is on fire in front of his audience. He's honest and raw, and doesn't pull any punches. And because of that you'll laugh so hard your gut will bust. But when you watch this film it is of interest to realize that at the time it was filmed there was no "Def Comedy Jam." There was no Bill Cosby "Himself." That all came after this. Richard Pryor and a few daring producers brought this genre to life with this one act, and had it not been so incredibly good, it might not have become the money making and entertaining part of the industry that it is today.
When you watch this you can know you're watching the first and the best.
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