it was something of a rite of passage for me when, in 1979, I was finally old enough to legally attend a film intended for audiences above the age of 17. Hence, I wanted my first film as a Motion Picture Association of America-approved adult to be something memorable.
I choseRichard Pryor: Live in Concert.
Nearly three decades later, it’s still the funniest concert film I’ve ever seen. In it, Pryor, who died Saturday at the age of 65, riffed on black funerals, jogging, and childhood punishments. (Any ornery child acquainted with a switch could easily relate.) He impersonated a vicious but consoling German shepherd, his pet monkeys having sex, and former first lady Rosalynn Carter. And he polished his own miseries, especially his troubled marriages and a heart attack, into pure comic brilliance. Sitting in the Boulevard Theater, my pal Johanna and I were curled up with laughter, guffawing so violently I thought our heads would explode. This wasn’t comedy; this was a language and a rhythm I never knew existed.
I’d have to agree. People point to [[Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip|doc_type=2]] as the funniest, but that was more of a catharsis for Richard than a comedy for us. At times it was downright uncomfortable (but still, very funny). [[Richard Pryor: Live in Concert]], on the other hand, was Pryor at his outlandish best. Nothing was off limits, and nothing could be funnier.
Profane? Yes. But so funny you could end up hospitalized wondering how you could possibly end up with a hernia from laughing **that** hard.