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The Richard Pryor Show, Vols. 1 & 2 plus Bonus Disc

4.5 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Mar 23, 2004)
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$105.11 $36.95

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Editorial Reviews

One of the most talked-about comedy shows ever, this hilarious collection of classic laughs became a legend during its showings on NBC and now returns on DVD for a new generation! Guests include John Belushi and Maya Angelou, Cast Members include Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society), Sandra Bernhard (Without You I'm Nothing), Shirley Hemphill (What's Happening!!), Paul Mooney (Hollywood Shuffle), LaWanda Page (Sanford and Son), Tim Reid (WKRP in Cincinnati), Edie McClurg (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Marsha Warfield (Night Court) and Peter Cullen (The Tigger Movie).

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Paul Mooney, Allegra Allison, Sandra Bernhard
  • Directors: John Moffitt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001BKAP8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,530 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Richard Pryor Show, Vols. 1 & 2 plus Bonus Disc" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this when it first came on in 1977 when I was 13. Surprising how much I remember these skits. Overall, while it's unique, it's certainly a mixed bag. Like the Smothers brothers, it's quite daring and not surprising that it had trouble with the censors.
"The Richard Pryor Special?" is clearly the best of the lot. Basically, it's Pryor trying to get to his show and meeting strange characters with varied skit ideas along the way. Some really good stuff like the young children's choir (with future soap star Kristoff St. John) and the drunk lover performance with Maya Angelou.
A lot of the ideas that Pryor brings to the fore are unique, but some are just plain strange, such as the "Pet head" with Charles Fleischer (later Roger Rabbit) and "Black Death", a bizzare goth-rocker who kills all of his fans during a concert (this freaked me out and puzzled me in 1977 and still does today). Much of this humor is based on race relations and the subject gets sort of beaten in the ground after a while.
The edited skits makes one wonder why Pryor filmed such profanity-filled routines knowing that they had no chance of airing (there is a particularly foul moment when Pryor curses heavily during the Audience Q&A when there are clearly children visible in the audience). As he has admitted, Pryor had a bad cocaine habit in those days and it shows in some of these monologues.
However, it's also interesting to see the cast of soon-to-be's such as a very young and glamourous pre-"Night Court" Masrha Warfield, Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, John Witherspoon, Paul Mooney, and Tim Reid. So overall, you can see in this the direction Black comedy was to take from the 1980s into recent times.
It would be nice if "A Time For Laughter," the 1967 special that featured a young Pryor with Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley, Pigmeat Markham, and Godfrey Cambridge, would also make it to DVD as that was equally as ground-breaking.
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Format: DVD
Richard Pryor ready for prime time? I would say the answer is yes and no after watching these three DVDs that cover all four of 1977's THE RICHARD PRYOR SHOW series, THE RICHARD PRYOR SPECIAL? that preceeded the series (which aired earlier that year), plus various outtakes and other unreleased footage.
The special is a classic comedy hour, with the likes of the Idi Amin Dada segment, the appearance by the Pips sans Gladys Knight, and a priceless skit with Richard and Maya Angelou which perfectly symbolizes how Pryor's approach to comedy may have had a wild, profane surface, but look underneath and you find wry insight and emotive depth that is missing from most of those comics whom he influenced. A rainbow-coalition-like segment with kids singing a Stevie Wonder classic was unique in its era, as was the "Harlem Sweeties" clip featuring a variety of women of color ... six years prior to Vanessa Williams becoming the first black Miss America.
As for the series, things got off on the wrong foot when Pryor's classic "nude" opening segment to the first show was a no-go (it is seen here). Pryor spent much of the four shows getting skit-ready versions of certain aspects of his standup act past censors. No cussing, but pushing the prime time envelope nonetheless. Frankly, a few skits don't work i.m.o. (Mojo The Healer, the Black Death heavy metal music skit), but more often than not the segments are funny and stand the test of time very well (40th president, for one). The supporting cast are seen in spots, but if you are a fan of Robin Williams for one, you may be disappointed by how little he is seen on camera.
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Format: DVD
I agree with most of the other reviews here that point at that The Richard Pryor Show -- like the man's movies -- pale in comparison to the absolutely brilliant stand-up work that he did. While there are some pretty funny moments on these DVDs, the best are in the extras, some of which show Richard either unscripted or performing parts of his act.
These four (five) episodes could be edited down to an excellent 60-minute "Best of The Richard Pryor Show" feature, because most of the skits are hit-or-miss. The good sketches make this DVD set deserve some rewatching, but I guarantee that I will use the chapter skip button to avoid some of the less entertaining material.
Unfortunately, I felt that the packaging of this set was designed to be sold at a higher price, due to the fact that it comes in three separate DVD cases instead of the foldout designs used for most TV show collections. I am also doubting it was necessary to put this collection on three discs instead of two. 3+ hour-long movies with a full 5.0 soundtrack can be held on one disc, so it seems like 5 48-or-so minute-long episodes, plus a handful of extras, should be able to fit on two discs.
If you're a huge Richard Pryor fan like I am, I would encourage you to purchase this collection. I was thrilled to be able to see video footage of Pryor's brilliant "Mudbone - Little Feets" bit. If you can get around the seemingly inflated price (which at $30 isn't awful), you'll find some amusement in this collection.
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