IMDb > Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986)
Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling
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Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling -- A classic R&B score highlights Richard Pryor's personal vision of one man's odyssey of triumph and tragedy.


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Rocco Urbisci (written by) &
Paul Mooney (written by) ...
View company contact information for Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 May 1986 (USA) See more »
A comic with one eye on his audience and another eye on the truth. See more »
After severely burning himself in a drug incident, a comedian has a near death experience in which he reviews his life. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(3 articles)
Murphy To Portray Pryor In Biopic
 (From WENN. 27 February 2009, 5:30 PM, PST)

Richard Pryor: 1940-2005
 (From IMDb News. 10 December 2005)

Comedian Richard Pryor Dies at 65
 (From WENN. 9 December 2005)

User Reviews:
personal docudrama See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Richard Pryor ... Jo Jo Dancer / Alter Ego

Debbie Allen ... Michelle

Art Evans ... Arturo

Fay Hauser ... Grace

Barbara Williams ... Dawn

Carmen McRae ... Grandmother

Paula Kelly ... Satin Doll

Diahnne Abbott ... Mother
Scoey Mitchell ... Father
Billy Eckstine ... Johnny Barnett
Tanya Boyd ... Alicia

Wings Hauser ... Cliff
E'Lon Cox ... Little Jo Jo

Michael Ironside ... Detective Lawrence
J.J. Barry ... Sal

Mike Genovese ... Gino (as Michael Genovese)
Marlene Warfield ... Sonja
Virginia Capers ... Emma Ray

Dennis Farina ... Freddy
Frederick Coffin ... Dr. Weissman
Richard Grossman ... Dr. Carlyle (as Dr. Richard Grossman)

Ken Foree ... Big Jake
Gloria Charles ... Lady at Grandmother's House
Mary Bond Davis ... Lady at Grandmother's House
Cheri Wells ... Lady at Grandmother's House
Valerie McIntosh ... Lady at Grandmother's House

Bebe Drake ... Angry Prostitute (as Bebe Drake-Massey)

Charlie Dell ... John #1
Teri Hafford ... Olivia
Edy Roberts ... Madelyn
Michael Prince ... Screening Room Producer
Rocco Urbisci ... Screening Room Director
Rod Gist ... Manager
Elizabeth Robinson ... Secretary
Beau Starr ... Vito
Lou B. Washington ... Backstage Manager (as Ludie C. Washington)
Kiblena Peace ... Joy
Larry Murphy ... Male Attendant
Linda Hoy ... Emergency Room Nurse

Dennis Hayden ... Policeman #1

Sam Hennings ... Policeman #2
Rashon Khan ... Bodyguard (as Rashon Kahn)
Charles Knapp ... Fat Man
Tracy Morgan ... Female Heckler
Gary Allen ... Male Heckler

Jack Andreozzi ... Gangster #1
Martin Azarow ... Gangster #2
Dean Wein ... Stage Hand
Sig Frohlich ... Ziggy

Joanna Lipari ... Nightclub Patron
Jo Ann Mann ... Madam
Richard Daugherty ... John #2
Alicia Shonte Harvey ... Waitress (as Alicia Shonté Harvey)
Robin Torell ... Michelle's Dance Partner
Laura Rae ... Dawn's Friend
Ericka Marr ... Showgirl (as Erika Marr)
Angella Mitchell ... Showgirl
Laura Sorrenson ... Showgirl (as Roxanne Rolle)
Geraldine Mason ... Showgirl
Michael Anthony Williams ... Raymond (as Michael Williams)
Deon Pearson ... Charlie
Dorothy McLennan ... Dorothy
Erastus Spencer ... Mr. Spencer
Edwin Hausam ... Desk Clerk
Howard L.W. Fortune ... Hotel Bouncer
Dewayne Taylor ... Boy on Bus
Jimmy Binkley Group ... House Band at Spencer's
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Gus Blue ... Drug Dealer (uncredited)
Gene Cross ... Heckler (uncredited)
Helen Kelly ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Tom Lawrence ... Emergency Room Doctor (uncredited)

Suzanne Niles ... Dressing Room Fan (uncredited)
Maureen C. Solomon ... Girl at Jo Jo's Party (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Pryor 
Writing credits
Rocco Urbisci (written by) &
Paul Mooney (written by) &
Richard Pryor (written by)

Produced by
Thom Mount .... supervising producer
Richard Pryor .... producer
John G. Wilson .... associate producer (as John Wilson)
Original Music by
Herbie Hancock 
Cinematography by
John A. Alonzo (director of photography) (as John Alonzo)
Film Editing by
Donn Cambern 
Casting by
Reuben Cannon 
Production Design by
John DeCuir Jr.  (as John De Cuir)
Set Decoration by
Cloudia Rebar  (as Cloudia)
Costume Design by
Marilyn Vance 
Makeup Department
Dino Ganziano .... hair stylist
Tony Lloyd .... makeup artist
Terry Miles .... makeup artist
Elizabeth Rabe .... additional hair stylist
Julia L. Walker .... hair stylist (as Julia Walker)
Production Management
John G. Wilson .... production manager (as John Wilson)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bryan Denegal .... second assistant director
Vicki Jackson-Lemay .... dga trainee (as Vicki LeMay)
Jerry Ziesmer .... first assistant director
Art Department
Carl Aldana .... illustrator
Oscar Delgadillo .... set dresser
Mark Fabus .... set designer
Joseph C. Fama .... construction foreman (as Joseph Fama)
Matt Furginson .... swing gang
Daniel Gluck .... set designer
Jimmie Herron Jr. .... property master
Jimmy Herron .... property master
Stephen LeMasters .... set dresser
Joseph P. Lucky .... set designer (as Joe Lucky)
William F. McLaughlin .... swing gang (as William McLaughlin)
Michael Muscarella .... construction coordinator
David J. Negron .... illustrator (as David J. Negron Sr.)
Ernest Phillips .... stand-by painter
Clinton Robinson .... assistant props
John Sweeney .... set dresser
Sig Tingloff .... set designer
David Tully .... greensman (as Dave Tulley)
Dianne Wager .... set designer (as Dianne I. Wager)
Kenneth L. Westcott .... lead person (as Ken Wescott)
Sound Department
Rick Alexander .... sound re-recording mixer (as Dick Alexander)
Milton C. Burrow .... supervising sound editor
Neil Burrow .... sound editor
Willie D. Burton .... production sound mixer
Bob Cornett .... sound editor (as Robert H. Cornett)
Jay Engel .... adr editor
Les Fresholtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Mark Gordon .... sound editor (as Mark S. Gordon)
Robert W. Harris .... cableman (as Robert Harris)
Fred Judkins .... supervising sound editor (as Fredric R. Judkins)
Marvin E. Lewis .... boom operator (as Marvin Lewis)
Dan O'Connell .... foley artist
Vern Poore .... sound re-recording mixer
Brossy Reina .... assistant sound editor
Ellen Segal .... sound assistant
Special Effects by
Larry L. Fuentes .... special effects (as Larry Fuentes)
Visual Effects by
David J. Negron Jr. .... visual effects supervisor
David J. Negron .... optical effects supervisor
Greg Van der Veer .... additional opticals
Ron Oliney .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Alexus .... rigging gaffer
Norman Ash .... set lighting technician
Sidney Ray Baldwin .... still photographer (as Sidney Baldwin)
Michael Barrett .... electrical best boy
William Birch .... director of photography: Peoria
Lester Boykin .... set lighting technician (as Arlester Boykin)
Ophelious Braxton .... grip best boy
Bill Hardin .... second assistant camera: Peoria
Bud Heller .... key grip
Steven Hiller .... first assistant camera: Peoria
Susan C. Ingram .... second assistant camera (as Susan Ingram)
Horace Jordan .... first assistant camera (as Horace B. Jordan Jr.)
Thomas Laughridge .... additional camera operator (as Tom Laughridge)
Mark Ludwig .... second assistant camera
Louis Niemeyer .... first assistant camera
Michael D. O'Shea .... additional camera operator (as Michael O'Shea)
Serge Poupis .... additional first assistant camera
Stephanie Powell .... video assist operator
Stuart A. Spohn .... gaffer (as Stu Spohn)
Jim Taylor .... still photographer: Peoria
Pernell Youngblood Tyus .... camera operator
Sandy Williams .... dolly grip (as Walter Williams)
Randy Woodside .... set lighting technician
Wayne Baker .... first assistant camera: insert car plate unit (uncredited)
Casting Department
Christopher Gegen .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Winnie D. Brown .... costumer: women (as Winnie Brown)
Alice Daniels .... costumer: Mr. Pryor
Maritza Garcia-Roddy .... wardrobe (as Maritza Garcia)
Greg Hall .... wardrobe
Silvio Scarano .... costumer: men
Bill Tiegs .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Carolyn Fitzgerald .... apprentice editor
Nancy Frazen .... assistant editor (as Nancy E. Frazen)
William Goldenberg .... apprentice editor (as Billy Goldenberg)
Location Management
Karlene Gallegly .... location manager
Music Department
Else Blangsted .... music editor (as Elsa Blangstead)
Dennis S. Sands .... music scoring mixer (as Dennis Sands)
Ellen Segal .... music editor
Wayne Shorter .... musician: saxophone solo
Jerry Wexler .... music supervisor
Paul Wexler .... assistant music supervisor
Transportation Department
Bud Lacy .... transportation captain
William 'Scott' Pierson .... transportation coordinator (as Scott Pierson)
Donald Tuttle .... transportation co-captain
Other crew
Teri Abastado .... production auditor (as Teri Abostado)
Amy Alexander .... assistant: Mr. De Cuir
Marilyn Bradfield .... technical advisor
Frank DeMichelis .... craft service
Lauren Glassman .... executive assistant: Mr. Pryor (as Lauren R. Glassman)
Victoria Horsford .... unit publicist
Rashon Khan .... assistant: Mr. Pryor (as Rashon Kahn)
Luca Kouimelis .... script supervisor
Fran Moss .... locations: Peoria
David J. Negron .... gemini effect designer
Phill Norman .... title designer
Susan Royal .... production accountant
Kimberly Sizemore .... assistant: Mr. Pryor
B.J. Smith .... first aid
Eddie Smith .... atmosphere coordinator
Maureen C. Solomon .... assistant: Mr. Pryor (as Maureen Solomon)
Jennifer Stace .... choreographer
Anna Zappia .... production office coordinator
Marquetta Cheeks .... assistant to richard pryor (uncredited)
Thom Mount .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
97 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Iceland:12 | USA:R (certificate #27896)

Did You Know?

First dramatic feature film directed by Richard Pryor though its the second feature film directed by Pryor if one counts his concert movie feature he directed Richard Pryor... Here and Now (1983).See more »
Jo Jo Dancer:[to his wife as he gets on the bus] I'm gonna write you, I'm gonna write you.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in TV in Black: The First Fifty Years (2004) (V)See more »
Play-OnSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
personal docudrama, 3 November 2015
Author: SnoopyStyle

Jo Jo Dancer (Richard Pryor) is a successful comedian. In a drunken haze, he severely burns himself. His spirit watches his wounded body in his hospital bed and recalls his journey to that point. As a child, Jo Jo grew up in the brothel with his mother. As a young man, he decides to go to the big city Cleveland to try his hand in stand up. His father beats him up and his young wife is too afraid to go with him. He gets a gig at a strip club. As his career rises, his marriages suffer a roller-coaster ride of drug use and other difficulties.

This is a thinly-veiled personal docudrama. I think it's probably a mistake for Pryor to direct the movie himself. It's technically competent but the material is there for something much more compelling. The story never gets much tension. It's coated in a functional lifetime docudrama. An experienced director would be able to bring something more interesting in the structure and also a deeper performance from Pryor. I love Pryor as a comic and an actor. I don't love this movie quite as much.

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