Richard Pryor is playing three different roles here. The first being a poor orange picker named Leroy Jones who gets laid off when by mistake he joins the worker's union during one of their... See full summary »
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Angel Ramirez Jr.
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In this film that closely parallels his own life story, Richard Pryor plays Jo Jo Dancer, a popular stand-up comedian who has severely burned himself in a drug incident. As he lies unconscious in a hospital, his spiritual alter ego gets up and begins a journey of his own. He revisits his life, from growing up in a brothel as a child and struggling to beat the long odds to become a top rated comedian. However, his success brings new problems as he develops a tragic pattern of substance abuse that begins to screw up his life. All the while, Jo Jo's spirit watches these events and attempts to convince his past self to turn off from his path of self destruction. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Richard Pryor said that his Jo Jo character's third wife, Michelle, played by Debbie Allen', was sensual, acerbic, and every bit as willful as her husband: "She's played in the picture as one lady. But it took five women I've known . . . maybe ten . . . to create her". See more »
Jo Jo Dancer:
[to his wife as he gets on the bus]
I'm gonna write you, I'm gonna write you.
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...this movie resonates all the more of the difficult life he lived and the humor that somehow came out of it.
Pryor begins life as the son of a Prostitute, later turns his hyper energy into Theatre (thanks to a school teacher who he later gave his 1st Emmey to), turns to drug and alcohol addiction, is savagely burned during a bad freebase accident, is diagnosed with MS, is forced to spend his life in a wheelchair and throughout goes through many divorces. And the man is funny - what a genius (campare to Beethoven's life).
Props to Richard Pryor for sharing his life and also for being the 1st African-American comedian to take on 'race' and actually making it work.
Pryor was the Man!
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