Pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television -

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic Tues­day, 8.30pm, Show­case (215) Richard Pryor has been de­clared by many, in­clud­ing Jerry Se­in­feld, to be the great­est stand-up co­me­dian ever. If he was a lit­tle be­fore your time, or in­deed you missed his work — as it was pos­si­ble to do be­fore this in­stantly con­nected dig­i­tal world we live in — this fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary will serve as an ed­u­ca­tion, and a plea­sur­able one. The ti­tle is taken from a quote by com­edy writer David Banks, who died ear­lier this year: “Some­times, to understand Richard you had to first omit logic,” he said, with no un­der­state­ment. Pryor was born in 1940 in Peo­ria, Illi­nois, and de­vel­oped a dy­namic brand of racially charged and ex­ple­tive-laden hu­mour. He was also well known for fast liv­ing and drug tak­ing. Dur­ing his peak in the late 1970s, he won an Emmy Award and five Gram­mys be­fore an in­fa­mous event in 1980 when, in a co­caine-in­duced psy­chosis, he poured rum over his head and set him­self on fire. He later de­scribed it as a sui­cide at­tempt. His style of hu­mour re­minds you of no one more than Dave Chap­pelle — in­deed Pryor’s widow once pro­nounced Chap­pelle his com­edy heir, and Pryor’s hi­lar­i­ous writer Paul Mooney also worked on Chap­pelle’s Show, which ran on Com­edy Cen­tral in 2003-06. A long awaited biopic is also in the works, with Mike Epps play­ing the lead role. Both funny and poignant, this is a fas­ci­nat­ing por­trait of the man.

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