So, this is pretty cool. This is one of Richard Pryor’s earliest TV performances, from 1964, just a year after he moved to New York from Peoria, Illinois (where his mom was a prostitute. Thanks, Wikipedia!).
It’s so weird to see Pryor dressed in a nice suit with French cuffs. And not swearing. And performing for a lily-white audience (check the crowd shot just before the clip ends). But you can see the roots of what was to come: he gets away with one joke about his own racial background, and then — at around the 4:20 mark — he mocks the audience for needing a couple seconds to piece together one of his punchlines. As well he should. Damn honkies.
I want more like this!
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