Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
31 Reviews
Sort by:
Best stand-up comedian ever, period.
Chromium_512 February 2005
As others have said, this is the best stand-up performance ever recorded. It sounds like an exaggeration, but it's not. Pryor is a comedic genius, and you can see his influence in every comedian since. He sets the standard. His facial expressions, acting abilities, delivery, etc., are all top-notch, and he can make even mundane topics such as walking through the woods pee-your-pants hilarious (in fact, he spends a long time talking about the woods, which is a bit puzzling, but hey, it's funny). He also covers completely unrelated topics such as dogs, drugs, family life, boxing, and sex... all the while being hysterically funny. The guy is amazing, and I recommend this to anyone who enjoys stand-up comedy.
20 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The greatest comedian of all time
Sondis Green10 April 2007
I am 34 year old and i was 6 years old when this concert was filmed in 1979,i saw it as a little boy and countless times until this day,i am so lucky to have been born in Richards Generation to have had the opportunity to witness this man come on stage with all of his imperfections and personal problems and share it with me and the rest of the world in a way where it makes us laugh.

Thinking about the loss of Richard Pryor makes me want to cry because i feel like he was someone i knew personally,thats the effect Richard Pryor had on everyone that watched him pro-form on stage,he broke the color line,even thought he is clearly a African American man,Richard Pryor made people of other races so comfortable listening to jokes revolving around race and social status.

I know there are other comedians that are great in their own right but the truth be told,Richard Pryor is and will always be regarded as the Best comedian that ever lived and this concert is the performance that proves that very fact.

RIP Richard,thank you for the laughs and joy and now the sadness you brought us all,we will never ever forget you....
8 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The first and the best
soserene132 September 2006
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.
8 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A wonderful comic!
Skeletors_Hood25 August 2002
Richard Pryor is without a doubt one of the best stand-up performers to ever grab a mike, because he breaks the performance wall, and just has a conversation with the audience, which is rare for a comic to do. He talks to the audience, and involves them in the show, and the things he talks about on stage are not really jokes, but his retelling of certain life events that he has had, and you get the feeling that you would be hearing the same thing if you were just sitting alone with him in a room, and that is what makes his comedy so good, that conversational quality. No other comic that I can think of has done that with such a level of success that Pryor did...he was a real natural.

As far as profanity goes, Pryor doesn't use it to shock, he just talks that way naturally, and so the cursing doesn't stick out that much. Still, if you're easily offended by such language, then avoid it, but you are only robbing yourself of seeing a legend working his magic.
14 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Quite Simply the Greatest Stand-Up Routine Ever Recorded
jackdarrenhunt21 July 2004
I can't express how dazzlingly brilliant this routine is. The jokes, the faces, the mime, the banter, ad-libs - everything amazes. This is the 'Citizen Kane' of routines and many comedians since have taken inspiration from it including Eddie Murphy (esp.) Chris Rock and Eddie Izzard.

Yes it is profane, but if you are stupid enough to watch a Pryor stand- up without being prepared for extreme 'vulgarity' then frankly you deserve to be offended. The language, although extreme isn't that shocking (even the now dreaded 'N' word) because it is all part of Pryor's 'jive' and would be poorer without it.

Watch this and see a master at the top of his game.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Richard Pryor Is The Yoda Of Comedy!
fandangonoir27 January 2002
Genius! I remember seeing this years ago and being knocked flat with laughter. It is and remains a classic in the comedy concert film genre. Richard Pryor is the King of Comedy and all he needs is a mike, a stage, and an audience to give one of the great comedy performances ever recorded in the history of celluloid.

But this isn't just stand-up comedy. This is theater. Richard Pryor is a badass one man theater troupe. This flick is ground breaking in the fact that is has influenced so many comics and will continue to do so. His name is Richard Pryor. Hear him roar!
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The guy is a genius and the funniest man in the world!
fuggly214 October 2005
Now I can see where Eddie Murphy got his material from. Richard Pryor most been the best stand up performer in the world. He talks about everything sex, drugs , animals and many more.

In my opinion we never gonna see anything like this again because Pryor delivered the funniest and most high class comedy ever. To me hes the greatest and truly a Legend so go out and buy this DVD and enjoy 1 hour and half stand up that has it all.

PS : If you can, watch the over stand up performance :

Here and now and Live at the sunset strip!

Catch this Legend in action while you still can NO one comes close I guarantee you!
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Comedy IS this man . . .
2cents19 May 2004
Despite the thousands that have stepped on to the comedy stage, many regard Richard Pryor: Live in Concert as the greatest stand-up show of all time. Live and on fire, this is Pryor at his finest ~ a unique opportunity to understand why comics and comedy lovers call him the godfather of modern comedy. Whether he's talking about his bout in the ring with Mohammed Ali, or recounting tales of snorting cocaine off the dining room table in front of his grandmother, Pryor is the heavyweight champion, playing off tragedy and humour in a way that few others have ever dared.

This is f@ckin hilarious !!

Apparently this is going to be released on a UK DVD soon. Cant wait !!
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Greatest stand up comedy performance of all time
MaximumForce25 February 2005
Most of the time, 99.9% of the time, I find comedy embarrassing and corny. No doubt this is because comedy is the hardest thing to do. Therefore if it is so hard, a lot of people are going to fail. And a lot of people do. You need to be intelligent to really be funny. Once again not many people are all that smart either. To give you an idea of some things I find funny: I like David Letterman but not Jay Leno. Find South Park and the Simpsons amusing and think 'The Office is one of if not the funniest things on television ever. In my opinion 'Live In Concert' is the greatest stand up comedy performance of all time. Add this to the list of things you MUST see. Pryor has got it all, voice and the way he uses it, facial expressions, acting ability, intelligence. One of the best things I notice about his style is that you are never aware when he has moved on to the next joke. The transitions between jokes are as good as the jokes themselves. This is something that the best speakers have, the ability to move from one topic to the next so that the listener is not aware of the transition. This is achieved by the speakers ability to relate topics.
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Before he burst into flames
caspian197828 March 2002
This is one of the very first taped stage comedy of Richard Pryor. Shot in Long Beach, California in 1970's, Richard Pryor's Live in Concert is one of the all time greats. Pryor's comedic style comes out like fire in this comedic stand up. From his antics about sex and nature, to his wild and crazy comments about "white people," Pryor is amazing. Entertaining and true, it is a stand up comedy for the ages.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Best stand-up comedy tape of all-time
markdhauser18 December 2005
If you have not seen this tape -- you have not seen stand-up comedy at its finest. Even the great George Carlin, long my personal favorite, has never been this funny. In my first viewing of this tape -- at home on HBO with my family around 25 years ago (I was twenty-one) -- I was sober and I couldn't stop laughing through the entire tape. Twice I fell off the couch laughing (a personal record). I rented it this week after he died and watched it twice more (up to around 6 or 7 viewings by now). My eyes watered up with laughter three times and I knew all the lines. Obviously, Pryor is a comic genius and is at his peak here in both material and delivery. (I could do without the liberal use of the n-word (a word he soon afterwords stopped using) and motherf----r, but it flows naturally from his mouth and is not excessive.) I am amazed that Bill Hicks' Relentless has an average rating of 9.6 (never saw a rating that high) and this tape has only a 7.8 average rating -- if ever a comedy tape deserves a 10 -- this is it (with all due respect to Bill Hicks the laugh-o-meter is not close with this tape winning hands down).

Pryor talks about his troubled life with honesty and hilarity. The beauty of his comedy is that you think he is just telling stories when in actuality he is introducing a variety of premises which contain well crafted jokes and characters who bring the visual images to life. His bit in which he describes a kid lying to his parent ("and you know he's lying") about how something broke is as funny as stand-up comedy gets. Other outstanding bits include white people (I'm white) acting tough, white people being nice when black people are around, women going to the bathroom in the woods, his heart attack, his father dying having sex, him having sex, his pet monkey, and a long bit about boxing with jokes about Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks. (I've read (not seen) that in the DVD version the sound mix is off, so I recommend the VHS tape.) Get a group of your friends (preferably mixed race -- his white/black insights are superb) and be ready to laugh like you have never laughed before. You can thank me later while you pay homage to a comedy legend if there ever was one. Enjoy.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Best ever
Adam Frisch30 July 2004
Yes, that's right. The funniest stand up ever recorded. Pryor is absolutely brilliant, and his impersonations and acting abilities are second to none. It's easy to see he transformed the art of stand up from the boring Las Vegas-crooner-telling-jokes-style that was everywhere then. He's in effect the father of modern anecdotal stand up, including tidbits from his life and describing his nutty family. I used to think Eddie Murphy's Delirious was the funniest, but now I know where he got it all from (it's still brilliant - and why isn't it released on DVD?). I'm a complete Pryor fan now - what a brilliant man.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Greatest performer ever?
jjdouglas15 April 2002
Richard Pryor is without a doubt the most spellbinding and hilarious stand up comic ever. A master showcased at his best in this awesome stage show. Every single element of the show is funny, every segway is smooth and funny not a single payoff fails to payoff. Watch and be impressed.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Great Inspiration
MisterWhiplash1 June 2000
I actually liked this comedy special. Richard Pryor is pretty funny by looking at things that were way ahead of his time. And with this, I can see where Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, even George Carlin get they're inspiration. Smart, raunchy and very funny. But for people who don't like Richard's comedy, beware. A+
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Comedy Sushi Deluxe
Kurosaurus14 December 2002
If you like it raw and fresh then check out this comic masterwork by a legend and icon among his peers. People who never try foods because they are'nt the strict "meat and potatoes" they are used to will never know the wonderous flavors available beyond their meager appetite. Try some Leguizamo or catch some "slam jam" poetry or old "Robin" (or new "Old Robin") and don't worry, we won't tell your mom that you laughed your _ _ _- off even though "that language" was used. "Felt like a wet Q-tip." still makes me grin to just say it. Funny, funny, stuff. Made my jaws sore, almost gagged and lost my popcorn when I saw it in the theater. Bought it as soon as I could find it.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Stunning Comedy Standup Film Of The Amazing Richard Pryor
ShootingShark2 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A concert film of standup comedian Richard Pryor, recorded live at the Terrace Theatre in Long Beach, California.

There are some artists who are so original, fearless and groundbreaking that they inspire and influence almost every other artist in their field who comes after them. This is how I think of Richard Pryor - the comedian's comedian. This concert showcases him at the top of his game with an electrifying performance; a nonstop riff on sex, families, racism, drugs, the police, death, pets, boxing and the great outdoors. Pryor pours everything he has into it, whether it be recreating a heart attack onstage, demonstrating the correct method for falling over when knocked out, delivering the most perfectly timed gag about a hunting rifle, or an amazing moment where he becomes a child lying about a breakage which I absolutely guarantee will have tears streaming down your cheeks. As with all great comedy, the writing and artistry behind this is seamless and invisible, almost as if Pryor just strolled on and made it all up. It's impossible to see how he moves from one topic to the next or to watch him perform for even a minute without being swept up in his rap. The man was simply a genius. The film itself epitomises his daring; nobody had ever released a major theatrical feature of a standup comedy performance before and no movie studio wanted it. Instead it was released independently, was a smash hit and went on to become one of the most successful comedy videotapes of all time. Followed by two more concert films (made by Columbia) - Live On The Sunset Strip in 1982 and Here And Now in 1983. Pryor had many problems in his life, but there is no denying the natural talent with which he clawed himself up from nothing into a trailblazing comedy superstar who influenced everybody from Eddie Murphy to Eddie Izzard. Witness that talent with this fantastic time capsule of his comic brilliance.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
THEE Man, THEE concert film
ruthlessroddy12 December 2005
This is the funniest man ever with his best 'filmed' stand-up concert. You think of how funny his albums are and then here you see him do the physical aspect of his routine. A classic piece of Comedy.

I made my Mother take me to go see 'Live on the Sunset Strip' in the movies (probably his 2nd funniest stand-up film). She grew up white bred in the 50's and she really didn't want to take her 14 year old son to go see a foul-mouthed comedian. I nagged and begged and pleaded my case about how I "just had" to go see his new movie and she reluctantly gave in and took me. The theater was filled with a rowdy crowd and I remember her looking very uncomfortable, yet as his routine unfolded and everyone else started laughing, I kept catching my Mother smiling or trying not to laugh. It was a victorious evening for youth and rebellion. Someone said Richard Pryor was the Charlie Parker of Comedy in that everything changed after he arrived. It did indeed.

RIP Rich I'll never forget you.

1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Simply brilliant
jeff-908 June 2002
The best stand up performance anyone will ever see. Hysterically funny of course, but also incredibly insightful. To call Pryor a comic is doing him an injustice - he's a comedienne, actor, mime, satirist, writer, philosopher. I was in high school when this film was released and must have seen it 5 times the first month it was out. I've watched it another 10 times since and it's still as awesome as ever.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
You suddenly realize where Eddie Murphy learned it all...
Mental099 May 1999
This guy is pretty darn funny. He makes a great dog, for instance. And a great John Wayne. And if you've seen Eddie Murphy's Delirious, you have to watch this. This is where Eddie stole must of his jokes, and most of his style, only one slight difference: Richard Pryor came first, and it's still better than anything Eddie has ever done. Go see this one. IT'S A HOOT!
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Does everybody know this is for fun?"
classicsoncall11 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Discounting for the profanity and the prodigious use of the 'F' word, Richard Pryor was one funny comedian. This stand-up special was filmed in 1979 at the Terrace Theatre in Long Beach, California and Pryor is on fire, not only with his unleashed humor, but the facial expressions and body language that go with it. Throughout the entire show one experiences the audience's sustained roar of approval that never lets up for a minute except for the scant few seconds when he reveals how his squirrel monkeys died, and then he turns THAT into a comedy moment utilizing the German Shepherd that lived next door. You have the keep an eye on the front row folks who are literally melting down in helpless laughter keeping up with Pryor's manic routine. The man goes full bore for almost an hour and a half, tackling a variety of subjects with a John Wayne impression thrown in and riffs on boxers Leon Spinks and Muhammad Ali. It really is a funny show, but again, for mature audiences considering the bawdy language and anatomical gestures. If that doesn't bother you, you'll have a good time with this program, even though some of the material is dated for the era. But funny is funny, and this is a funny show.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Seinfeld called him "The Picasso of our Profession"
blamdrum14 July 2017
I have not watched any Richard Pryor clips, movies or specials in a very long time. And this was for a reason, a personal reason, I thought that it would make me sad. Tonight I watched the "Wanted, Live in Concert (1979)" for the first time since it was in theaters on Netflix. And I was correct. I have very fond memories of my Father and I watching Pryor and laughing together. What has always pulled Pryor's comedy in for me, and I suspect most of his fans, was not just his brutal honesty but his vulnerability. You can tell that his comedy comes from what otherwise would be a very dark place if not for his interpretation of these events. So from it springs this eternal optimism that can not be ignored. What would send others into a deep depression Pryor finds the humor and puts it back into the world positively charged. I think that's what makes Pryor what he was, a shining light of optimism, turning dark into light.

Thank you, Richard, thank you for the laughs, and the light.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the All Time Greats
Michael_Elliott10 January 2017
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1978)

**** (out of 4)

This Richard Pryor concert film was recorded at the Terrace Theatre in Long Beach, Califorinia. Obviously, when it comes to comedy, getting a laugh is a very subjective thing so you're going to know whether or not you find a comedian to be funny. To me, Pryor is without question the greatest stand up comic in the history of comics. Am I overselling him? I personally don't think so because there was never anyone quite like him and no one that has followed has been able to match him.

This comedy special will certainly have tears rolling down your face as he starts off in a frantic pace and just continues that throughout the running time. I'm certainly not going to ruin specific jokes here because when I say them they're obviously not nearly as funny. The freshness of the material still manages to leap off the screen all of these years later and it really does show you how far ahead of time Pryor and his style was.

There are countless hilarious moments scattered throughout the running time but what has always amazed me was the way Pryor could carry on conversations within several characters. Take, for example, the scene where he's talking about his monkeys dying and the neighbors dog came to visit him. THe way he carries on these conversation was just priceless. Speaking of the monkeys, this entire story is one of the funniest that Pryor ever delivered. Countless other subjects ranging from race to sex to even a fight with Ali are discussed in a hilarious fashion.

I will say that the first hour of this is without question some of the greatest concert footage that you're going to see with Pryor. He's just off the charts as he goes from one story to the next and there will be tears running down your face from laughing. There's a very minor drag towards the end but things once again pick up and by the time the show is over you can't help but think that you've seen something quite special.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The man was a legend......
mybrainhurts8426 February 2015
This is by far one of the greatest stand up shows i've ever seen. Richard Pryor is a comic genius , naturally funny and timeless in my opinion. if you only ever watch one of his stand up shows make it this one !. Even though this was filmed in '79 the show doesn't feel dated at all , well maybe the clothes their wearing but not the act. He jokes with the audience but without a hint of malicious or in a bullying manner like some comedians . While his act isn't really joke after joke after joke and more telling of a funny story , you can't help but hang off every word of his. I can't recommend this show enough . If your easily offended you might want to give it a swerve but you really will be missing out on something special !!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Spend a night home with Richard
PeterMitchell-506-56436422 December 2012
Pryor's best concert film, even though I've only seen three out of it's four, but heard the incredibly short one is pretty weak. Look beyond the f words of this comedic talent and you'll see genius, from his insight into Chinese restaurants, Muhummad Ali, and even an oversexed monkey. And the red loud shirt makes him a standout, which of course, in other ways he truly is. Here's the sign of a true comic, one who can pour a lot of reality into his jokes. A priceless treasure here from a true comedy legend who was taken from us way too young. A perfect night's viewing, but make sure you put the kid's to bed, first. Excellent.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert was as funny as a motha...well, you know
tavm15 February 2012
After so many years of reading or hearing about Richard Pryor's stand up act, a few days ago I watched his first filmed concert called Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin'. That one was in front of a small audience and his material was being tried for perhaps the first time so it wasn't hilarious like it is here but there were some moments. This one is wall to wall funny with choice material like his late monkey, his father and the way he went, his grandmother's choice for punishment, his boxing, the way certain animals behave, celebrities like John Wayne and Leon Spinks, and of course, his sex life. The only material I remember being uncomfortable with was the one about a Chinese man stuttering though I laughed just the same. Oh, and there's his take on his heart attack that was really hilarious. So many stuff that was funny so on that note, Richard Pryor: Live in Concert is highly recommended. P.S. The woman accompanying him at the beginning was his girlfriend Jennifer Lee who would marry and divorce him about a year or so later before marrying him again in 2001 and eventually becoming his widow.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews