Last week I got to watch The Richard Pryor Show, and it really was the first time I was exposed to his work in a big way as I had only ever really seen snippets of things he had done over the years before then. After seeing it, I had gained a new understanding of the man and his talent, and why so many people revered him so highly.
So I thought I’d do a bit more research into his work and I got the first ever stand up DVD of the four he did in his life. I was excited to see the skills he had on stage, and to also see him before he became a big star, as this particular show was before he had ‘made it’ to a more mainstream audience.
Like I said, I don’t know a huge amount about his work but from what I saw he looked so incredibly nervous making this show and he often referred to the cameras and how they made him feel. So with an almost bumbling performance he got through his set, and I think several times he lost his audience in his ramblings and offended a lot of them.
This, of course, was 1971 when stand-up wasn’t exactly this style of rude and crude, so I’m sure people just weren’t ready for it. But this is why he was a groundbreaker in the field and why he went on to become a huge success, as that style became bigger over the years and lead onto the careers of other black comedians like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. Although it was rough around the edges, it was still a good watch, if not a little short.
7.5 out of 10 from me!!!