If you would like to have a surreal experience akin to the effects of downing ten shots of cheap tequila, tune in to FoxNews as they eulogize Richard Pryor. Apparently he invented dirty words. (It's going to come as a helluva surprise to Lenny Bruce --- not to mention Redd Foxx.) He rejected the comedy of the good comedian, Bill Cosby, and went down the "wrong path" that led us to where we are today with all this R rated badness. One of the commentators said that when he went on TV in the mid 70's he "wasn't ready for prime time." (Actually, primetime wasn't ready for him.) Another said that "every black comic owes him something." That’s precious. I’m just glad to get he recap and not have to sit through the real thing.
Pryor was a pioneer in comedy, no doubt about it. But, honestly, my comedic genius of choice in the 1970s was George Carlin. Certainly Pryor was a far better actor but Carlin was the master of radical stand-up for me at the time. Both men, I think, opened a lot of doors and it was certainly a good time watching it happen. Are there any comics today revolutionizing their art like these guys did? Dave Chappelle comes to mind but that’s about it.