(AllHipHop News) If you are a fan of Mike Epps, Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Eddie Murphy, or practically any other stand-up comedian from the last 30 years then there is one man who deserves a lot of credit for inspiring and providing a blueprint for the careers of those popular comics. The legendary Richard Pryor is probably your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian.
Epps, along with other famous comedy performers like Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Mel Brooks, and George Lopez, will pay honor to Pryor in the new Showtime documentary Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic.
The feature was directed by Emmy winner Marina Zenovich who previously directed Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.
Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Pryor, and his son, Richard Pryor Jr, were also involved in the project. Ms. Pryor served as a producer for the film along with Food Revolution‘s Roy Ackerman. Richard Jr. appears on camera to speak about his father.
Along with the celebrities’ personal reflections on Pryor’s role in shaping modern comedy, the documentary will also feature never-before-seen photos, concert footage, and television appearances of the icon.
Richard Pryor’s significant place in comedy history cannot be denied. The Emmy and 5-time Grammy Award winner was named the greatest stand-up comedian of all time by Comedy Central. He was also the first person to receive the Kennedy Center’s prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 1998.
It was Pryor’s candid and fearless comedic style that changed the way future comedians would approach the art of stand-up. Whether it was tackling his own personal demons like drug addiction or addressing social ills like racism and poverty, Pryor would openly touch on taboo subjects and include every part of his life into his routine.
He also helped establish that a black comedy actor in a leading role could be a major box office draw with his hit films Silver Streak, Stir Crazy, The Toy, and Brewster’s Millions.
His mainstream success led to a then remarkable $4 million contract to appear in Superman III which was a million dollars more than the salary of the movie’s star Christopher Reeve.
Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr is quoted saying that Pryor is “the single most reason for us making it in this business. He made it possible for [black entertainers] to be in this business on equal terms.”
Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23rd, and then its television debut will take place May 31st at 9 pm EST on Showtime.
You can watch a NSFW video of clips from some of Richard Pryor’s stand-up and listen to his classic 1982 comedy album Live On The Sunset Strip below.