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