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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.
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.
*** This review may contain 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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+
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.
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