More on Pryor

I just wanted to say this man could make me laugh. Mr. Shakes and I watched Live on the Sunset Strip not two months ago; it was the first time Mr. S. had ever seen Richard Pryor do stand-up, though he’d seen some of his movies. It’s one of those shows that you spend vacillating between side-splitting laughter and silent, rapt attention, because when he isn’t being unbelievably funny, he’s being incredibly interesting.

Pryor had been suffering from MS for quite some time. When he received the first ever Mark Twain Prize for humor from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts back in 1998, he was too weak to speak, no less perform. There were never going to be any more new shows. I knew that rationally, and yet somewhere inside me a completely unreasonable hope must have still lingered that he’d be onstage again someday, because I only now feel a sense of recognition that he’ll really never perform again. It stinks. Damn, he’s made me laugh a lot.

And no one, no one, could use the word motherfucker better than he could.

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