Tuesday, December 13, 2005

R.I.P. Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor II

Yes, I know I'm late with this.

Among the first comedians I ever watched were: Gene Wilder, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams, and Richard Pryor. To this day I still laugh hysterically whenever I see any stand up comedy or TV Shows or movies with these guys. As a kid it was the Muppet Movie, Superman III, Willy Wonka, Mork & Mindy, and the Cosby Show. Later it was Stir Crazy, Good Morning Vietnam and the Birdcage, Cosby, and Blazing Saddles (yeah I didn't see that one until I was a grown boy).

Richard could definitely be crass and I was shielded from a lot of that as a kid but I still remember seeing him in See No Evil, Hear No Evil and also in Brewster's Millions. Watching him and Gene Wilder together was just magic on screen. I didn't see any of Mr. Pryor's stand-up work until I was an adult (and for good reason maybe) but I saw plenty of him growing up and I can't count how many times that man made me crack up.

I forgive whatever he did to hurt himself in his life. He paid the price for those mistakes and I don't really understand it sometimes when someone dies and all we can do is sit and discuss is all the things they did wrong. He'll get his time now to work out his own salvation based on his own spiritual place at the time of his passing. I remember him for what he did on stage and on screen only. I think that's true for most of us. I've missed hearing his humor since he got sick and I'll miss it most now knowing it's gone...at least here on this earth.

So to Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III I say, thanks so much for the laughs and the tears. You had a place in my life and it was a good place. May God have mercy on your soul and I hope one day to hear your humor in a new light and in a greater venue.


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