6.3/10
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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.

Director:

Richard Pryor
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Billy Eckstine ... Johnny Barnett
Tanya Boyd ... Alicia
Wings Hauser ... Cliff
E'Lon Cox E'Lon Cox ... Little Jo Jo
Michael Ironside ... Detective Lawrence
J.J. Barry 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jo Jo Dancer See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,879,107, 4 May 1986

Gross USA:

$18,034,150
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Pryor said that his character's third wife, Michelle (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 »

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

Referenced in TV in Black: The First Fifty Years (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Just Squeeze Me
Written by Duke Ellington and Lee Gaines
Performed by Miles Davis Quintet
Courtesy of Prestige Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Now that he is dead...
12 December 2005 | by geoff-162See all my reviews

...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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