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Richard Pryor Here and Now

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This high-voltage concert film shot in New Orleans, features the sensational Richard Pryor in his prime. Doing some of his most innovative material, Pryor takes charge on stage with an electrifying style and an unequaled comedic genius, in an incredibly funny performance guaranteed to rock you withside-splitting laughter!

Did you ever have a good concert spoiled by yahoos in the audience? In Richard Pryor: Here and Now, the last and least of Pryor's three concert films, Pryor's consummate comic genius is put to the supreme test by audience members who shout out, heckle, and otherwise break the spell during even the more potent, personal pieces, such as the near 15-minute character sketch about a junkie from Pryor's old neighborhood. Filmed in New Orleans, Here and Now is not as primally funny as Live in Concert and Live on the Sunset Strip. At this point, Pryor is seven months sober. At different points in the concert he reflects on his substance abuse. A routine about acquaintances from those days reminding him about his outrageous behavior is a more graphic variation on Shelley Berman's classic routine about "the morning after the night before." But he keenly confronts and challenges racial attitudes when speaking about white panic when drugs reach beyond black neighborhoods into their own homes. "Epidemic," he observes, "is when white folks are doing it.... Maybe the next time you see black people in trouble, you'll help." (Prophetic pre-Katrina words!) Even with less-than-inspired material, Pryor is mesmerizing to watch, whether evoking frigid Illinois winds or getting inside the head of a crab that an audience member presents to him during the show. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Pryor
  • Directors: Richard Pryor
  • Writers: Richard Pryor
  • Producers: Bob Parkinson, Andy Friendly, Jeff Scheftel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2002
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005U8EO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,527 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Richard Pryor Here and Now" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mo Lindsey on February 2, 2002
Format: DVD
People say that HERE & NOW didn't make as big an impact as his other concert films , particularly LIVE ON SUNSET STRIP , but I found the film very enjoyable. The excited (maybe drunken) hecklers would sometimes interrupt Pryor's routine early in the film but he rolls with the hecklers garnering applause at times.
The beauty of Pryor's stand-up is that he seems to share seriously revealing aspects of his personal life for the sake of comedy and entertainment. The moment when he is talking about the junkies are an example of that. The routine changes from stand-up to captivating theatre when he talks about the junkie "Motif". Pryor gets into character and when he begins to roll his sleeve up indicating he is about to 'shoot up' it goes from comedy to commentary. You clearly see the sad reality painted by him yet he doesn't go too far out of the comedic light to still make you laugh. He walks that fine line between funny and seriousness. That is part of the reason why Pryor is considered a comedy genius and I haven't seen another comedian do that better.
The DVD is a two-sided disc with widescreen on one side and full screen on the other. The audio is digital mono with english and french subtitles (at least on the disc I own).
People say that this isn't his best stand up routine but that doesn't mean it is bad stand up. Pryor has stand up routines that are tough to measure up to so it really isn't fair to belittle this film by comparing it to his other shows even though in HERE & NOW he is very much open , spontaneous , and connected with the audience. To me HERE & NOW is very funny enlightening , and revealing.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 1, 2004
Format: DVD
Pryor was brilliant in this set. However, as other reviewers have pointed out, his audience seemed to be composed of the inhabitants of every podunk village in Louisiana, who saw attendance at his show as the crowning moment of their lives, and wanted to make sure Pryor and the rest of the world knew just how momentous it was by announcing it at the top of their lungs, never stopping their celebration long enough to actually listen to Pryor's routine. He had to contend with a constant barrage of drunken heckling but he still managed to weave spellbinding stories and make brilliant impromptu observations about everyday life. In fact, he frequently turned the boorish behavior of the audience to his advantage, and constructed several brilliant bits of business from their sometimes bizarre antics. Still, it was particularly sad to watch the contrast between the profundity of Pryor's depiction of a broken down junkie and the audience's complete incomprehension of what Pryor was revealing. All the same, Pryor manages to transcend his audience's limitations and create a world of characters and experiences that was fascinating, touching and hilarious. If you can manage to do the same, and overlook the audience and immerse yourself in Pryor's world, it will be well worth the effort. Don't sleep on this one.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Cignetti on October 1, 2004
Format: DVD
Not funny? Huh?!?! How can anyone who enjoys Pryor's humor not consider this funny? Granted, RICHARD PRYOR LIVE and LIVE ON THE SUNSET STRIP our the two better installments of this succession of three great shows (RICHARD PRYOR LIVE is an absolute classic) but this is nonetheless still great comedy. The only downer of this whole set is the often annoying audience. Pryor answers back to the hecklers with sharp humor but the interuptions are certainly annoying.

Still, this is yet another great example of the most honest funnyman of our time.

If, however, you have not seen any of his stand-up, by all means, look to RICHARD PRYOR LIVE first, then get ON THE SUNSET STRIP. But if those two classics tickle your funnybone, I can't imagine why you wouldn't find much to enjoy here.

Not as good as the others, but 1 star? Please!
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Format: DVD
Don't believe the negative reviews. I repeat: don't buy the lukewarm responses.

If you are looking for uninterrupted gut-busting laughter, and an audience laugh-track to cajole you on, you might be better served by Pryor's other movies or the works of artists like Sinbad, Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, Bernie Mac, George Carlin and others who followed in his footsteps.

In "Here and Now," which Roger Ebert called a "90-minute documentary of one man talking," Richard Pryor evokes a cadence and relevance that none of the above could reinvent. He rises from gift to genius and from talent to savant. Make no mistake, this film contains some of Pryor's best moments.

Yet these moments are not done justice by the superficial label of "comedy." When Pryor ties his arm off and shoots up heroin, wincing with intensity as he stiffly pauses waiting for the hit to materialize, and then transitions into a liquid shiver of euphoria before his entire body falls limp-- it might disappoint those reviewers who were expecting to see Moe, Curly, and Larry.

The rest of us can be spellbound by the power and poetry of the man who is to comedy what Jack Kennedy is to politics; a rare achiever stifled too young and not paralleled since. Pryor is masterful, ad-libbing and sketching us on a roller coaster of laughter, tears, and pure marvel at the human condition.

To those who buy this to appreciate cheap thrills rather than being intellectually and politically prepared to be moved, I say this: "You're no Richard Pryor."
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