ABOVE PHOTO: Comedian Richard Pryor lets loose with a satire attack on gays at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 19, 1977. The star-studded benefit was to counter the anti-homosexual campaign led by singer Anita Bryant and California Congressman John Briggs.
NEW YORK–Paramount Network has teamed up with Network Entertainment to honor the life of celebrated comedian and actor Richard Pryor in the latest installment of the “I Am” documentary franchise. “I Am Richard Pryor” will make its world premiere at South by Southwest Film Festival on Tuesday, March 12, and will debut on Paramount Network on Friday, March 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by an encore on Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.
“I Am Richard Pryor”explores and celebrates the life and career of the iconic comedian who lifted himself out of poverty to achieve worldwide success. From his first comedy album until his death of a heart attack in 2005, the revolutionary stand-up comedian dispensed what critics regarded as the most poignant and penetrating comedic view of African-American life ever afforded to the U.S. at large. Volatile yet vulnerable, crass but sensitive, streetwise and cocky, Pryor did not simply tell stories, he brought them to life and was considered a trailblazer for generations of comics to come. The film explores his unusually personal art that was a window into a vulnerable soul, as well as the endless struggle to extend dignity and equality to all.
“I Am Richard Pryor” includes exclusive interviews with comedians, filmmakers, family, and friends including Sandra Bernhard, Ron De Blasio, Dr. Todd Boyd, Michael Epps, Tiffany Haddish, Henry Jaglom, Howie Mandel, Thom Mount, Ishmael Reed, Scott Saul, Michael Schultz, Greg Tate, Lily Tomlin, Rocco Urbisci, Jimmie Walker, and Jennifer Pryor, who is also featured, and during a moving and poignant moment in the documentary, uniquely honors the life of her husband.
The documentary, directed by Jesse James Miller, is the latest from Network Entertainment’s award-winning filmmaker Derik Murray, who has previously produced films on epochal figures such as John F. Kennedy Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Heath Ledger, Bruce Lee, Paul Walker, and Chris Farley.
“I Am Richard Pryor” is executive produced by Paul Gertz Kent.