9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Comedy Master at his best,
This review is from: Richard Pryor - Live in concert [DVD] (DVD)
While the past few decades have seen the emergence of many comedians who spit out swears and graphic subject matter with reckless abandon, precious few have taken offensive subject matter and turned it into something intelligent and entertaining at the same time. Denis Leary, Bill Hicks, and Dave Chappelle come to mind when I think of such a select group, but Richard Pryor may well have towered over them all. And 1979's Richard Pryor: Live in Concert may have been his definitive document.
This 90-minute standup DVD sees Pryor giving a manic, imaginative, occasionally profane performance that had the audience in the palm of his hand from beginning to end. Pryor was a master impersonator with a vast pantheon of characters and voices. Pryor didn't just talk about his subjects, he became them. He acted out every person (lady in the wood taking a pee - ha,ha), every story, and every idea to the fullest extent possible, constantly blurring the line between real and make-believe. Jokes about animals quickly gave way to spot-on imitations, whether of the inner thoughts of Dobermans/ Great Danes or of his pet monkey's illicit sexual activities (NEEP, NEEP- ha,ha..).
There are also plenty of brutally honest stories about Pryor's life with his father, ranging from his father's death in mid-coitus ("he came and went at the same time"), to the one time Pryor stood up to his old man ("It wasn't really a fight, but I did the best I could"), and their time hunting together ("I hated being the dog"). Pryor's honesty and insightfulness come out in plenty of other places too, from his troubles with the law "Cops dont shoot cars; They shoot Nig-cars" to his heart attack. All throughout, though, no matter what the subject, Pryor piles on joke after insight after impression with pitch-perfect timing and plenty of scatological language. For those of any age, race, or political leaning, this is a must-see.
Richard Pryor and Bill Hicks are the greatest, no doubt about that.