6.2/10
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Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986)

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jo Jo Dancer / Alter Ego
...
Michelle
...
Arturo
...
Grace
...
Dawn
...
Grandmother
...
Satin Doll
...
Mother
Scoey Mitchell ...
Father
Billy Eckstine ...
Johnny Barnett
Tanya Boyd ...
Alicia
...
Cliff
E'Lon Cox ...
Little Jo Jo
...
Detective Lawrence
J.J. Barry ...
Sal
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Storyline

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 <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Role Of His Life. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jo Jo Dancer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$18,034,150 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reflecting on his own addiction, and its relevance to the film, Richard Pryor speaks of his "demons". Pryor said: "There's a reason they call alcohol 'spirits'. There are demons in all of us which booze and drugs awaken . . . which grow stronger the more we continue to use them". Before he could exorcise his own demons, Pryor first had to "hit the wall . . . bottom out". Then came a process of personal reflection like taking stock that Pryor called "taking inventory". Pryor said: "When you mess up . . . and remember, you're talking to an expert . . . the only way to put that stuff behind you and get on with your life is to be brutally honest. Self-deception is one of the worst drugs there is". Out of his inventory emerged the first shadowy perception of the character of Jo Jo Dancer, and a decision to accept a challenge which he'd anticipated throughout his career, yet had frequently rejected. See more »

Quotes

Jo Jo Dancer: [to his wife as he gets on the bus] I'm gonna write you, I'm gonna write you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

I Do Love You
Written by Billy Stewart
Performed by Billy Stewart
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

Underrated
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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