'Comedy in its highest form'

Tributes paid to Richard Pryor

Comics have been paying tribute to Richard Pryor, who died of a heart attack yesterday (story)

His widow, Jennifer Pryor siad: ‘He was an inspiration to millions and a role model to African Americans everywhere. He was full of courage and heart and love ‘

Director Spike Lee: ‘He was an innovator, a trailblazer.The way he showed social commentary in his humour opened up a universe for other comics to follow in his footsteps, It's a great loss.’

Steve Martin: ‘By expressing his heart, anger and joy, Richard Pryor took comedy to its highest form.’

Chris Rock: 'If I hadn't listened to Richard as a kid, I'm sure I'd still be a comedian – the only difference is I'd really suck. Richard Pryor is the greatest comedian of all time.'

Music producer Quincy Jones: ‘He was the Charlie Parker of comedy, a master of telling the truth that influenced every comedian that came after him. The legacy that he leaves will forever be with us.’

Damon Wayans: ‘There are many different kinds of comedians … the observational humorist, the impressionist, the character creator, the physical comedian, the self-deprecator, and the dirty-joke teller. What made Richard Pryor so brilliant is he was able to incorporate all these styles at once.’

Eddie Murphy: 'His recordings lit the creative spark in me, which still burns to this day. The discovery of these timeless performances led me to realize what I am. Richard Pryor is truly one of the great artists of our time. His comic genius and influence remain unparalleled.'

Wanda Sykes” ‘It's a sad day. Pryor inspired so many of us. He will always be the greatest.’

Playwright Neil Simon: ‘The most brilliant comic in America.’

Bill Cosby: ‘I wish that every new and young comedian would understand what Richard was about and not confuse his genius with his language usage.’

Bob Newhart: ‘He was the single most seminal, comedic influence in the last 50 years.’

Lenny Henry: 'He was one of the greatest comedians who ever drew breath. He documented every pain, every abuse he'd ever suffered in his life, and he made it funny.'

Click here to add your tribute, which we'll be sending to Richard's family.


Published: 11 Dec 2005

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