Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor : The Life and Legacy of a "Crazy" Black Man

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Richard Pryor is an American icon whose name evokes irreverent humor, social critique, and a perplexing degree of self-agonized genius. This anthology captures in one volume the spirit, zest, and cultural impact of Pryor's complex artistry. Audrey Thomas McCluskey has assembled insightful essays from a broad range of scholars, social critics, writers, filmmakers, and other established and emerging commentators on American culture. Although a celebration of Pryor's genius, the book approaches the subject with a critical sensibility that provides insight into his work to reveal how he simultaneously highlighted and embodied prominent narratives of race, gender, and social conditions in America in ways that continue to enlighten and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 20.32mm | 226.8g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 6 b&w photos
  • 0253220114
  • 9780253220110

Review quote

McClusky's Life & Legacy Of . . . gathers together 20 essays and features on Pryor, ranging from retrospective cultural criticism, contemporary reviews and interviews and biographical features. Each tries to pinpoint exactly what made Pryor so important. . . March 2009 * Record Collector * . . . presents a variety of new and historical perspectives from scholars, filmmakers, and writers that yield insight into the comedian's origins, how he negotiated the difficult straits of the entertainment business, and what his work ultimately signified. . . . February/March 2009 * Bloom * McClusky's contributions and other essays, specifically those by David Felton and Keith Harris, invite discussion on the ways Pryor transformed American comic style. . . . Recommended.March 2009 * Choice *show more

About Audrey Thomas McCluskey

Audrey Thomas McCluskey is a professor of African American and African diaspora studies and former director of the Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University, Bloomington. She lives in Bloomington, more

Table of contents

ContentsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Richard Pryor: Comic Genius, Tortured Soul / Audrey Thomas McCluskeyPart 1. New Essays1. "That Nigger's Crazy": Richard Pryor, Racial Performativity, Cultural Critique / Keith M. Harris2. The Crisis of Black Masculinity in Jo Jo Dancer: Your Life Is Calling / Margo Natalie Crawford3. Was It Something He Said? Censorship and the Richard Pryor Television Show, 1977 / Audrey Thomas McCluskey4. Richard Pryor and the Poetics of Cursing / Kate E. Brown5. Br'er Richard: Fascinatin' Storyteller / Maxine A. LeGall6. "... And It's Deep Too": The Philosophical Comedy of Richard Pryor / Malik D. McCluskey7. When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: Pryor, Chappelle, and the Comedic Politics of the Post-Soul / Tyrone R. SimpsonPart 2. Biography8. Jump Street! From Richard Pryor: The Man behind the Laughter (1981) / Joseph Nazel9. The Politics of Being Black From If I Stop I'll Die: The Comedy and Tragedy of Richard Pryor (1991) / John A. Williams and Dennis A. Williams10. "He Wasn't Afraid to Get Naked in Front of People": Michael Schultz Remembers Richard Pryor / Audrey Thomas McCluskeyPart 3. Reviews11. Time Warp Movies: A Review of Superman III (1985) / Pauline Kael12. Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip (1994) / Pauline Kael13. Richard Pryor: The Real Slim Shady (2001) / Rob SheffieldPart 4. Social and Cultural Criticism14. The New Comic Style of Richard Pryor (1975) / James Alan McPherson15. Jive Times: Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin, and the Theatre of the Routine (1974) / David Felton16. Richard and Me (1994) / Nelson George17. Hill Street Bullshit, Richard Pryor Routines, and the Real Deal (1997) / Bob Avakian18. Now's the Time: The Richard Pryor Phenomenon and the Triumph of Black Culture (1998) / Siva Vaidhyanathan19. A Pryor Love: The Life and Times of America's Comic Prophet of Race (1999) / Hiltoshow more

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