pryor convictions-richard pryor

and other life sentences…

“We were talking about jail. He admitted to being worried about going to prison himself.

‘Why you scared of jail?’ I asked.

‘Cuz if I go, everyone’s going to want to fuck me,’ he said.

I didn’t disagree.

‘But if they put their dick in my mouth,’ he added, ‘I’m gonna bite it off.’

‘That’s a plan,’ I said. ‘But before you bite, you know, you’re gonna taste that dick in your mouth and wonder whether or not you like it.’

Huey Newton shot up from his seat and punched me. The blow caught me on the side of the head.

‘Fuck you.’

It could’ve been messy. Both of us were high, we had guns, and we were out of our minds. Fortunately, I decided my best move was to watch as Huey grabbed his woman and marched out of my room.

I knew that I could stir up more shit on stage than in a revolution.


I could be a revolutionary, but I like white women. I have a white-women disease. (120-1)


nothing like a comedian to tell it like it is…but there were a lot of unexpected revelations in this book-the sexual abuse, the family dynamics that lead to blackmailing priests, candid discussion about transferring the abuse, and his addiction struggles. like i told someone at the listening on thursday, everyone knows about the fire, but few know about the fire.


6 thoughts on “pryor convictions-richard pryor

  1. family matters:

    “Family is a mixed blessing. You’re glad to have one, but it’s also like receiving a life sentence for a crime you didn’t commit.” (21)

    “At least Gertrude didn’t flush me down the toilet as some did. When I was a kid, I found a baby in a shoe box-dead. An accident to some, I was luckier than others, and that was just the way it was.” (20)
    “It’s only natural for a young boy of ten to think about sex, but living in a whorehouse gave me special access to those mysteries of the flesh that elude most people until they’re older. I spied through the keyholes, putting my eye to the little opening every chance I got. I bumped my head a lot, but I also got an education you couldn’t get at school.” (35)

    “For a moment, I thought the baby was mine. But she had slept with lots of people, including my dad.” (55)
    “Don’t know why, but my grandfather handed me a gunnysack and instructed me to kneel down and open it up by the cow’s asshole. Then he kicked the cow in the belly. A second later, a possum ran out of the cow’s ass. Straight into the gunnysack I held.
    ‘Hold that sack, boy!’ my grandfather yelled.
    ‘Holy shit, Pop!’ I exclaimed.
    You know?
    It was a fucking possum! Come out of that cow’s asshole!
    In any case, my grandfather grabbed the bag out of my hands and swung it over his shoulder, holding it there, despite the possum’s squirming, until we came to a big rock. Then he slammed it against the rock, killing the possum.
    Then I started wondering what we were going to do with that dead rodent.
    You know what we did with it? We took it home and my grandma cooked it. We ate that motherfucker. To this day, I don’t eat anything with barbecue sauce, because I had to drown the motherfucker in that shit in order to get it into my stomach. But it taught me about death all right.” (243-4)

    • The more i read i’m like “really that happened” and then here comes the next….lather..repeat. I definitely want to read the entire piece. I may need to schedule time for that one. thanks for the text, Grand Metro 😉

  2. relationship issues:

    “Had me a ghost rattling in the attic. It didn’t matter that I lived in a big house behind a gate in Los Angeles, some half a country from the bricks and bars of the old neighborhood. My ass was haunted by the image of Hoss’s dick……I thought about killing the motherfucker. Getting even after all these years. But I’m too much of a chickenshit, and I knew, given my luck, that he’d live to testify against me and send my ass to jail. And I knew the kind of dick I’d get there.” (30)

    “The boy was about the same age I’d been when his father raped me. I never could forget. I hoped the boy fared better.” (31)

    “The next time we were together, Mitrasha forgot to do the tuck and fold. When I reached down, I discovered that she was actually a he. For some reason, I didn’t care. Either I wanted the nut too badly, I was too high to object, or I was as sexually confused as Mitrasha. It was probably a combination of all three reasons.
    Mitrasha and I carried on for several weeks. We even went out dancing at the Daisy. I never kept him a secret. Mooney, for instance, knew I was fucking a dude, and a drop-dead gorgeous one at that. I even admitted doing something different was exciting But after two weeks of being gay, enough was enough and I went back to life as a horny homosexual.” (130)

    “Unfortunately, our relationship wasn’t able to survive Hollywood. Of the two of us, I became the star, but I was put off by how much I thought Pam believed that stardom belonged to her. In my head there was only one Numero Uno, and it wasn’t her.” (151)

    interesting that they always have this to say…can’t wait to hear her side of it.

    “When a man hits a woman one of two things happens: either she hauls ass in the opposite direction or she becomes yours.
    Violence is like voodoo. The sting is like a hex. You become possessed by each other. Locked in a diabolic dance.
    I lived in that dark place you go when you grow up with people telling you that you aren’t worth shit, and Jennifer, bless her heart, followed me down that destructive path. Whether we were vacationing in Maui, locked behind the gates at my house, or on the road, we never left that faraway place where passion met brutality.” (164-5)

    • It’s amazing what you find after you look inside the pretty box, then look at all the ingredients that made it and later discover the chef had other items mixed in you would never had known unless you are he. The stories here have their own movies with their own stories.

  3. show (me yours) business:

    “If the material wasn’t exactly Bill’s, the delivery was. So much so that I should’ve informed people.
    But the other comics caught on and asked, ‘What the fuck happened?’
    I said, ‘I’m going for the bucks.’” (73)

    “The gesture was pure Miles-intuitive, supportive, generous, and in sync with the moment. By trading places, he was giving me a vote of support. Beyond that, he was leading me to the edge of the diving board. He knew that I was frightened, and he knew I thought the jump was hard. But he also knew that I could do it if given a nudge. I just had to believe in myself…..After the show Miles invited me to his dressing room. When I entered he was kissing Dizzy Gillespie, with tongue and shit, which made me wonder what kind of shit he had planned for me.” (100)

    “Following the release of /Lady Sings the Blues/, I should’ve been one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood. There was talk of an Oscar nomination in the press. People knew that I’d cowritten /Blazing Saddles/, one of the funniest pictures ever. I had ideas and talent. I deserved the type of multipicture deal that filmmakers Spike Lee and Robert Townsend would get from studios fifteen years later.” (133)

    “I didn’t expect the reaction I got when I disavowed the word ‘nigger’. Mooney and David Banks told me that people thought I’d gone soft, sold out, turned my back on the cause, and all that political, militant shit. I received death threats. Kooks showed up at my house, threw shit over the gate. I got letters. And comments from people who thought they owned me and didn’t want me to stray….But I wasn’t Malcolm, Martin, or anybody else. I was a drug-addicted, paranoid, frightened, lonely, sad, and frustrated comedian who had gotten too big for his britches. I’d wanted laughs, not racial struggles. I’d wanted to be liked, not hated. Overburdened, I’d walked too far out onto the wing, lifted too much weight, and finally I buckled under the pressure.” (177)

    “The toxicity level of my blood was so high from the amount of drugs I’d done prior to the accident that doctors erroneously thought I must’ve been sneaking coke into the hospital. They questioned me daily. During that time, though, the only drug I had-other than what was prescribed by doctors-was television. Every Sunday, I watched the religious shows. Those televangelists became my new addiction.” (195)

    “Rumors of my death spread as far as New York newspapers. It’s a bitch to be watching the nightly news and see the motherfuckers talking about you in the past tense.” (241)

  4. Man, Rich brought so much to the stage that a prepared routine could never capture. amazing how he went so long with all the D-rugs. I need to inspect some mo. I would be dead many times over (i did see that happen in my head) hence why i stayed away from those…..but we all have our substances in some form

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