Richard Pryor, among peers such as Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, is one of those guys who changed everything. There was a certain standard and expectation that a comedian was supposed to meet, and for a while Pryor met that expectation. But then one day, he decided he had enough, and let everything he had inside of him unleash.
Once that happened, he was an unstoppable force and nothing could stand in his way. He has been signaled out by many as a trailblazer and also a major influence by the likes of Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Dave Chapelle, Tiffany Haddish, Jerry Seinfeld, and Robin Williams. Through his stand up specials (particularly Live on the Sunset Strip), as well as his movies, including his work with Gene Wilder, Pryor is now cemented as one of the greatest comedians of all time.
Tonight, there is a new documentary based on Richard Pryor airing on ABC titled The Last Days of Richard Pryor. Similar to their Last Days of Phil Hartman which aired last summer, the documentary will explore the life of the Late comedian, as detailed by friends, peers, and admirers such as Tim Allen, Jimmie Walker, Howie Mandel, Mike Epps, Tim Reid, his former bodyguard Rashan Kahn, and his widow Jennifer Pryor. Also included are never before seen clips from his interview with Barbra Walters.
Below you can find the trailer which details his rise, but also his great struggle with drugs, depression, and also himself. The special airs tonight at 9:00pm EST on ABC.