I remember one day, I was looking up reviews on Eminem’s new album, and one critic compared it to this movie, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip. Since I had yet to see this movie, I decided to go out and find it.
No subject is safe from barrier-breaking comedian Richard Pryor — not even Richard Pryor himself. Proving his main passion is to make us laugh, the unflinching Pryor cracks jokes about his near-fatal drug-related accident and the fallout in his personal life.
Now I have always heard about Richard Pryor from movie critics, and other fellow comedians, that he was one of the greatest. And to be honest, I never saw any of his stand-up acts, and I’m pretty mad at myself for that now.
The film has tons of laughs and the one best thing about this film is that Pryor does not shy away once from touching on any subject. He makes fun of his own race, which is hilarious but in the same way, also very brave and true.
This gig was actually Richard Pryor’s first since he accidentally set himself on fire while freebasing on cocaine. He talks about anything and everything here: Nazis, marriage, sex, lawyers, Africa, the mafia, the list goes on. While the jokes here are suitably edgy, there are some touching personal moments as well.
However, watch this film closely and you’ll notice the laugh track and the mismatched visuals, as a good portion of it was shot on the Columbia lot and not in front of a live audience. The editing team does their best to give the impression of a single seamless performance, but the fact that it is a combination of three separate dates at two wholly different locations is glaringly obvious.
Pryor shows that he is one and always will be one of the best with his whole act here. He is basically one of the main reasons why comedians have jokes today, and without him all jokes would be knock-knock and racist jokes. He is hilarious as usual and gives probably one of the best delivered stand-up performances I have ever seen.
Consensus: Pryor is on top of his game, with the constant jokes that touch on every controversial subject, while providing enough humor and enough insight from one of the truly greats of comedy.