Since the 1920s, entertainers, athletes and celebrities have been “roasted” to much fun and fanfare. At the conclusion of the short-lived “Richard Pryor Show,” the cast got together to roast Pryor. After taking everyone’s best shot, Pryor ripped each panelist in his signature classic style.
The Richard Pryor Show debuted on September 13, 1977. Lasting only 4 episodes, the show faced controversy airing in primetime with subject matter just a little too raw. Pryor was ready to quit because of the disagreements but was eventually wooed back and began production. He agreed to do four episodes of the show instead of the ten he promised in his contract. He did the four episodes and they aired in consecutive weeks. The show did not do well in the ratings while the shows that were in front of it and behind it ended up #1 and #2 in the ratings and The Richard Pryor Show was dropped after those four episodes.
While the show may not have lasted, many of the writers went on to highly-distinguished careers. Some of the more notable castmbers/writers who went on to major stardom were Robin Williams, Paul Mooney, Tim Reid, John Witherspoon, Sandra Bernhard and Marsha Warfield.
With material written by Mooney, each of the members of the show took their shots at Pryor. Patiently waiting his turn, Pryor lit his co-workers up in a way that only the true “King of Comedy” could. While he loving torn into everyone, he saved some of his best and most personal material for Mooney, who wrote material with Pryor for years.
That’s what happens when the “Empire” strikes back!
Watch these clips, Pryor is in rare form.