6.3/10
1,337
10 user 7 critic

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:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bustin' Loose (1981)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Joe Braxton is an ex-con who has been given a second chance to freedom after violating his probation. He has been hired by a school teacher named Vivian Perry to repair and drive an old ... See full summary »

Directors: Oz Scott, Michael Schultz
Stars: Richard Pryor, Cicely Tyson, Angel Ramirez Jr.
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Michael Schultz
Stars: Richard Pryor, Lonette McKee, Margaret Avery
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A Vietnam vet returns home from a prisoner of war camp and is greeted as a hero, but is quickly forgotten and soon discovers how tough survival is in his own country.

Director: Michael Pressman
Stars: Richard Pryor, Margot Kidder, Ray Sharkey
Car Wash (1976)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A comedic take on the daily life of a car wash employees, chronicling their hopes, fears, joys, dreams and tribulations. And meeting a few eccentric costumers along the way.

Director: Michael Schultz
Stars: Richard Pryor, Franklyn Ajaye, Darrow Igus
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Con man Kevin Lennihan, framed in a jewel smuggling, tries for an insanity plea, and is sent to a hospital for review, where he is confused for another doctor and takes over the hospital when a major storm hits.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Richard Pryor, Rachel Ticotin, Rubén Blades
The Toy (1982)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An underemployed reporter finds himself literally purchased as a toy for a rich spoiled brat.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, Ned Beatty
Action | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The true life story of Wendell Scott, the first black stock car racing driver to win an upper tier NASCAR race.

Director: Michael Schultz
Stars: Richard Pryor, Beau Bridges, Pam Grier
Another You (1991)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

George has been in a mental hospital for three years and is finally ready to go out into the real world again. Eddie Dash, a dedicated con man, is supposed to keep him out of trouble, but ... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Phillips
Stars: Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Mercedes Ruehl
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

At Madame Zenobia's illegal nightclub, when Steve Jackson and Wardell Franklin get robbed of their wallets containing a winning lottery ticket, they set out to recover it.

Director: Sidney Poitier
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte
Moving (1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Arlo accepts what seems to him to be a dream promotion to Idaho. He soon discovers, however, that moving has its own share of problems.

Director: Alan Metter
Stars: Richard Pryor, Beverly Todd, Stacey Dash
Comedy | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Part live stand-up performance, part documentary, this film is one of comedian Richard Pryor's later stand-up performances. As foul-mouthed as ever, Pryor touches on most of the same topics as in his previous live shows.

Director: Richard Pryor
Stars: Richard Pryor, Paul Mooney
Crime | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dave Anderson and Manny Durrell are two high-class sneak thieves who have never been caught. Joshua Burke is a retired detective who has enough evidence on the both of them to put them ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Poitier
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, James Earl Jones
Edit

Cast

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

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:

A comic with one eye on his audience and another eye on the truth. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jo Jo Dancer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

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  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The dark side of Jo Jo's (Richard Pryor's) growing acclaim in the film's story line is a reliance first on booze, then drugs. It is an aspect of the film which, Pryor admits, was painful to evoke as a writer, director, and actor. He said, "I look at the movie now and ask myself, 'Why did you show people that?' But I had no choice. It was something I had to do. I won't cop out, trying to explain why Jo Jo, or I, did drugs. I know why. I understand it even better after making the picture. But it's all there on film for people to take as they see fit. I'm one of the lucky ones. I was gone, crazy, out of my mind. But I'm alive." 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

Hey Lawdy Mama
Written by Clive Reed
Performed by Count Basie
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pryor's directorial debut, delivers on all cylinders

Not only is this movie funny, but it's also clever as in it's idea, of having a clone of the Richard Pryor character as his savior. As we know, all comedians have suffered severe depression or encountered some horrible times in their lives. Coked up, an alcoholic too, Jo Jo (Pryor) severely burns himself. Coming out of it, enter the other Pryor, the voice inside his head, the apparition, telling him to get his life back on track. Obviously, bits of the movie are inspired from Pryor's background. The movie starts with Jo Jo as a kid, living with his mother, who (hows this?) manages a whorehouse, so he gets to the savor the tasty sights through peepholes, or through having his ears pressed up against the doors, hearing those joyous sounds of sex. As he grows up into his late teens, he tells his mother he's gonna become a comedian. Obviously her initial response has her laughing aloud. So he leaves and toughs it on his own, while later becoming involved with two women, the latter, Debbie Allen, wanting to see him dead. This is a strong drama, too a comedy, that's balanced well, but more a drama. Richard's stand up stuff here is top notch, just as good as his real stand up, where both are potent, with their much undeniable truth surfaced underneath. You can't help thinking, some of the real Richard has been incorporated into his character, Pryor, just as good a dramatic actor, as a comedic one. The explanatory joke involving birth, really cracked me up. Watch out for Wings Hauser who Pryor knocks out, when finding him and his first girlfriend in an uncompromising position, doing blow whatever. An anti drug alcohol movie in part, this shows the pitfalls and struggles of the virgin comedian, the highs and lows they encounter, the humiliation and bitter disappointments, he must first endure. and . The movie also features Marvin Gaye's "What's going On" over a montage. Allen (Fame) as Pryor's second wife is particularly good. A movie treat for Pryor fans or peepers, for that matter.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page