His comedic genius was there for all to see but it was informed by a tough upbringing, by his intellect and his depth. His stand up recordings are legendary, his TV shows brilliant in parts, his albums exceptional. In a checkered movie career he has appeared in Lady sings the Blues and the Mack; both important black movies, and in the excellent Blue Collar Pryor's shows depth of talent, superb alongside Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Koto. Richard Pryor was not 'just' a comedian he was much more
'I believe the ability to think is blessed. If you can think about a situation, you can deal with it. The big struggle is to keep your head clear enough to think.'
'I can't just say the words, do a lot of one-liners. I love each person I play; I have to be that person. I have to do him true.'
'I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, I wanna grow up and be a critic.'
'I went to Zimbabwe. I know how white people feel in America now; relaxed! Cause when I heard the police car I knew they weren't coming after me!'
'It's been a struggle for me because I had a chance to be white and refused.'
'There was a time in my life when I thought I had everything - millions of dollars, mansions, cars, nice clothes, beautiful women, and every other materialistic thing you can imagine. Now I struggle for peace.'
'There's a lot more hypocrisy than before. Racism has gone back underground'