Grade A Certified

“Nobody does it better…”

Posted by Oak Jones on February 10, 2010

The man himself, before him there were many... after him, there were none.

Life is a constant cycle. People are born… people live, and people die; it’s really just that simple. This cycle will continue in this specific order until the end of time. But once in a generation, something, or someone special happens. A type of person who totally goes against the normal standards of how things are done, performed, and ultimately perceived. They “change the game”, as it is said in some urban neighborhoods across America. Focusing entirely on finding a way to make humor out of any situation, the genre of comedy has many legends, and even more superstars. One man however, is revered by all… and I believe this person transcends the entire genre itself. Whether it was his atypical childhood of growing up in a brothel in Illinois, or his satirical examinations of racism and world happenings; he wasn’t the first, but he is the greatest.

The unmistakeable Richard Pryor is not only a comedic genius, but he’s also the zenith that every comedian strives to reach, regardless of race, age, or gender. Time and time again, Richard has managed to reinvent himself; drawing from life, love and personal experiences, both positive and negative. While doing some album reviews last week, I often found solace in random late-night television programming. During my “channel surfing”, I caught a week-long “The Richard Pryor Show” marathon, featured as an ode to Black History Month, which aired on TVOne. In watching these hilarious episodes, I could only describe his self-titled show in one word… groundbreaking. I’ve always lived by the statement “you’re only as good as the company you keep”, and in saying this, “The Richard Pryor Show” featured Robin Williams, Paul Mooney, Tim Reid, John Witherspoon, and Marsha Warfield; all legends in their respective rights.

The show was cancelled after only four tapings, due to the fact that the show consistently pushed the envelope… which in turn was reflective of the man himself. It was as disappointing as it was ironic, because the format that eventually got the show kicked off the air, is the exact blueprint that most variety shows follow today. It was ahead of its time… and most geniuses aren’t recognized until years after they’ve left this earth. The points and topics that Mr. Pryor touched base on are as relevant, thought-provoking, and funny today, as they were in September of 1977. It was amazing to watch, and in viewing it, I actually felt a part of what was going on. Richard can never be replaced, and Jerry Seinfield said it best: “Richard Pryor is the Picasso of our profession.” Classics are anything that can withstand the test of time. With that said, I bid farewell…

Happy Black History Month.

– Oak

VIEW: The Richard Pryor Show – 1st Black President

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4 Responses to ““Nobody does it better…””

  1. J. Tinsley said

    “The Richard Pryor Show” set the precedence for “The Chapelle Show.” Pryor will always be an icon in entertainment and the levels of success and influence he reached will probably never be reached again. I could be wrong, but Richard Pryor is timeless. He’s just as funny in 2010 as he was in 1975.

    That said, “The Mack” is one of the greatest movies of all time.

  2. Oak Jones said

    It’s was prophetic almost… The “1st Black President” sketch was a bit I’ve seen used by Eddie, Chris, and Dave. All three of those comedians have raised the bar, while still managing to pay homage to Mr. Pryor… That shit is lovely.

  3. Classic Ice said

    Richard Pryor live is also a blueprint..

  4. top comedies…

    […]504-Music “Getcha Mixtapes”[…]…

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