Richard Pryor, Live on the Sunset Strip

Showtime aired Richard Pryor’s 1982 stand-up concert film, Live on the Sunset Strip, early this morning, and when you watch it 25 years later, you cannot help but notice how raw he was — five years before Eddie Murphy called his concert special "Raw" — in dealing with his fame and his personal troubles onstage. Also, watching the camera spot the Rev. Jesse Jackson laughing in the front row, a mere year or two before he’d pursue his presidential aspirations, you remember that he was just like you or me first, a guy who likes to laugh at brutally funny material.

The next Richard Pryor concert screening on cable comes Saturday on Cinemax (his 1979 special filmed in Long Beach, Calif.).

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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