Living on a Pryor

Classic stand-up made into sitcom

Richard Pryor's classic stand-up routines are to be converted into a sitcom.

The show, Pryor Offenses, will revolve around a character on the verge of a career breakthrough, but wracked with personal problems.

It will be set in modern times, although the groundbreaking routines used were originally performed in the Seventies.

Mad About You writer Bill Grundfest, who is penning the series, said: "I haven't had to do anything to update his material.

"His problems, his pain, the center of his standup is just as cutting edge today as it was back then. He was able to make us laugh about stuff that was really painful."

He said he approached Jennifer Lee Pryor, the comedian's wife and manager, with the idea after getting frustrated with the state of comedy on American TV.

"I was watching yet another sitcom with yet another alleged standup with an alleged point of view, and started yelling at the TV," he told Hollywood bible Variety.

"I then went back to my garage and pulled out Richard's albums and started listening to them. I thought, 'Oh my God, this could be a series.' "

Pryor, was diagnosed with multiple schlerosis in 1986, but despite his frailty and problems with balance has made occasional stand-up appearances since.

The comic, now 62, was one of the first stand-ups to incorporate his own problems, such as drug abuse, into his set.

Published: 27 Feb 2003

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