Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986)

R  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  2 May 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,135 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 8 critic

After severely burning himself in a drug incident, a comedian has a near death experience in which he reviews his life.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jo Jo Dancer / Alter Ego
Satin Doll
Scoey Mitchell ...
Billy Eckstine ...
Johnny Barnett
Tanya Boyd ...
E'Lon Cox ...
Little Jo Jo
Detective Lawrence
J.J. Barry ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Role Of His Life. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jo Jo Dancer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)


$18,034,150 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Richard Pryor's autobiographical film and his directorial debut. The movie was filmed in Los Angeles and in Peoria at the actual locations where much of the story takes place. See more »


Featured in Century of Black Cinema (2003) See more »


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Written by Duke Ellington and Lee Gaines
Performed by Miles Davis Quintet
Courtesy of Prestige Records
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User Reviews

13 March 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Jo Jo Dancer Your Life is Calling (1987)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Richard Pryor direct, wrote, produced and stars in this film about a famous stand up comic who begins to rethink his life after catching himself on fire. If you've seen any of Pryor's three concert films then most of this film will be familiar since this is clearly an autobiographical film dealing with stuff we're heard Pryor discuss before. Everything from growing up in a whore house to his various marriages all the way to the fire incident, which nearly cost him his life. The director isn't the strongest in the world but Pryor's performance is right on the mark and the screenplay does a nice job at showing off these various stages in his life. The film has some very hard hitting moments and some touching ones just like his concert films.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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