Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Richard Pryor Show

The Richard Pryor Show was a short-lived variety series on NBC's fall schedule in 1977. The network had the bright idea to give Pryor his own series based on his classic hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, and a highly-rated special earlier in '77.

The show failed for a number of reasons. First, nobody watched it. It aired against Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley (both on ABC). Second, it was often painfully unfunny. Third, many stations either refused to air it - or rescheduled it during late-night hours. (The material was often very adult - even for what Saturday Night Live was doing at the time).

Here's one sketch I remember as being genuinely funny - Pryor as the "First Black President". There is an all-star cast of famous L.A. stand-up comics in the cast or reporters. See if you can spot: Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Johnny Yune, John Witherspoon, Tim Reid, and Argus Hamilton.