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Mudbone is Gone

By Erin in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 12, 2005 1:00PM

2005_12_pryor.jpgFor most of Chicagoist, not to mention the majority of its readership, our first exposure to Richard Pryor was not that of the man who combined his own personal pain with what the Tribune's Allan Johnson calls "the human condition" to create some of the most important social commentary in American history but rather as the balloon vendor in The Muppet Movie.

It would be several years before we were not only able to get our hands on his stand-up material but also our brains around what it was he was trying to tell America about itself. Once we did, we were hooked. While suckers for liberal use of the F-bomb, what Chicagoist admired most about Pryor was his gift for telling a good story and shocking the hell out of us in a fashion that challenged our little white-bred suburban conventions while at the same time really making us think about our humanity. As it should have been, in 1998 Pryor was the first person to be awarded the Mark Twain Prize for humor from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Pryor died Saturday of a heart attack at the age of 65, on his way to the hospital from his San Fernando Valley home. While he battled addiction during the 70s, Pyror spent the last years of his life suffering from multiple sclerosis. Born and raised just three-hours south of Chicago in Peoria, Ill., Chicagoist blantantly uses the close geographical proximity of Pryor's birthplace as an excuse to honor this talented man.

Pryor was 'brilliant and incredibly courageous' - CNN

Peoria native Richard Pryor dies
- Peoria Journal Star
Inner demons fueled Richard Pryor's laughs - Chicago Tribune
Pryor used humor 'to lessen people's hatred' - Chicago Sun-Times/Roger Ebert
Like ‘Daddy Rich,’ Pryor was a true king -

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