The Richard Pryor Show
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|The Richard Pryor Show|
|Created by||Richard Pryor|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||4|
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Original release||September 13, 1977– October 4, 1977|
The Richard Pryor Show was an American comedy variety series starring Richard Pryor. It premiered on NBC on Tuesday, September 13, 1977 at 8 p.m. opposite ABC's popular television shows Laverne & Shirley and Happy Days.
The show was produced by Rocco Urbisci for Burt Sugarman Productions. It was conceived out of a special that Pryor did for NBC in May 1977. Because the special was a major hit, both critically and commercially, Pryor was given a chance to host and star in his own television show.
The Richard Pryor Show lasted four episodes during the 1977 season.
The main cast consisted of Pryor as various characters. Some of the more popular characters were Pryor playing a money-seeking priest, a wino, and a white-hating rock star. The rest of the cast consisted of comedians, some of whom went on to have popular careers in Hollywood.
Episodes and controversy
Pryor only filmed four episodes of the show, and there were controversies beyond the first episode's title-card scene. A skit in which Pryor appeared as a machine gun-toting rocker who kills all of his white fans also caused a stir. The second episode also featured a controversial skit that showed a woman in a park describing what her first lesbian experience was like. Probably one of the most shocking and revealing skits of the show came during the last episode. The skit featured a roast (similar to ones by the Friars Club or hosted by Dean Martin). The show's cast roasted Pryor, who sat with his head down laughing mildly while regulars on the show either had kind remarks or very scornful ones.
Because Pryor's status as a comedic and Hollywood icon continued to grow, a two-volume DVD set was released on March 23, 2004. The DVDs include the special that Pryor did that was the inspiration for the series.
In February 2010, the African-American-themed cable network TV One aired a five-hour marathon of The Richard Pryor Show, which consisted of the original special, followed by all four episodes of the series. The broadcast marked one of only two times that the show had been aired on television since its original run on NBC. In the late 1990s,it was re-shown as a summer filler show after most of their other series had either been canceled or fulfilled their regular seasons. In February 2011, TV One re-aired the episodes again in honor of black history month. The network began showing the episodes again, in August 2012.
On March 11, 2010, The Top 10 Greatest Sketches from The Richard Pryor Show was released by Alright, Dude Productions, featuring a mini-documentary format on Pryor's history, the conception of the show, and eventually moving into the actual countdown portion.
- Roush, Matt (June 3, 2013). "Cancelled Too Soon". TV Guide. pp. 20 and 21
- O'Connor, John (13 September 1977). "TV: Pryor's Art Is Strong Stuff - 'Soap' Weak". The New York Times.
- "The Richard Pryor Show (3-Disc Boxed Set) : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2012-07-15.