Main Plot Points:
- Richard Pryor: Icon explores how Pryor transformed from a straight-laced comedian to one of the most controversial and thought-provoking acts of his time. Sex, drugs, race nothing was off-limits to Pryor. By changing his routine, Pryor changed comedy forever. He opened the door for other comedians to inject social commentary and other once-verboten topics into their humor.
- From his troubled upbringing in the slums of Peoria, Illinois to his brave battle against multiple sclerosis, examine the roller-coaster life and times of this comedic trailblazer. Though he was one of the most successful and influential entertainers of his generation, Pryor also wrestled with drug addiction and the lingering effects of being raised in a brothel by abusive parents. Featuring interviews with close personal friends and comedians he influenced, including Tracy Morgan and George Lopez, this film defines Richard Pryor’s lasting impact on comedy and culture, often in his own words, showing us why he is an American icon.
What We Thought:
- Richard Pryor: Icon is an in depth look at the fascinating life of the legendary Richard Pryor.
- The show features a lot of his early work when his act was more Bill Cosby and not himself. He did “clean” bits, no cursing, no political or sexual stuff, just clean jokes and physical comedy.
- Then it shows him getting into who we think of when we think Pryor. He starts working in his own life experiences. He was raised in a brothel by his grandmother who ran it and his mother who was a prostitute. He had a hard childhood in Peoria, Illinois.
- Then it gets into the 1970s and how New York and the counter culture completely changed his stand up. He became very political, very personal, and quite the story teller. He became an icon.
- Of course it also talks about some of his low times like catching on fire and his drug use. But it also shows how he battled MS. It really does capture the man.
- Richard Pryor: Icon is a great watch. I’ve loved stand up comedy for most of my life. I listened to Pryor, Carlin and the likes early on and still listen to a lot of stand up now. Most comedians owe their careers to Pryor and this shows why. Really well made and well done show on his life.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Richard Pryor
- George Lopez
- Louie Anderson
- Tracy Morgan
Recommended if You Like:
- Richard Pryor
- Stand Up Comedy