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.
Performing at the Celebrity Star Theater in Phoenix on July 23, 1978, Carlin mesmerizes his audience in the second of his 12 HBO specials. The show was originally planned as part of a ... See full summary »
Con man Kevin Lennihan framed in a jewel smuggling tries for an insanity plea and is sent to a hospital for review where he is confused for another doctor and takes over the hospital when a major storm hits.
When George Carlin is asked which HBO concert is his favorite, his answer is always, "Jammin' In New York." The reasons are several: It was his first HBO show done live; it was the first he... See full summary »
Joe Braxton is an ex-con who has been given a second chance to freedom after violating his probation. He has been hired by a school teacher named Vivian Perry to repair and drive an old ... See full summary »
Huey P. Newton was sitting in the audience. Richard Pryor announces this fact to the audience but Newton is not actually shown in the film. Director Jeff Margolis later explained that he had no cameras aimed at the audience, but would have had he known Pryor was going to introduce him. See more »
There are two billion chinese people livin' in China. That's how you know someone's doing some serious fucking...
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Patti LaBelle was an important part of the following program. Time does not permit us to include her in this recording but we gratefully acknowledge her performance. See more »
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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