Searching for Richard Pryor

July 19, 2014 4:58 AM

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Searching for Richard Pryor

Word is out that the casting net is circling to find someone to play the late, great Richard Pryor in a biopic. Hopefully, the focus will be on finding someone who can capture not only Richard's stand-up skills but his richly humanizing personal life. As great as he was on stage, his offstage actions made a believer of a teenager who was celebrating his first night as a comedy club owner back in 1979. It was a first encounter I will never forget.

I had no idea what I was doing back then. I was naïve and gullible, and while English was my second language, I spoke it like it was my third or fourth. I loved comedy and opened the Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard with a little help from friends. At the time, the comics were on strike because the...

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