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January 5th, 2009
My Comedian Hero
Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg: Richard Pryor, oh my God. Richard Pryor, again, it’s one of those things where you hate to keep saying it but he’s black! And young. He was black and young and so were we. And so a new generation of humor came from Richard. ‘Cause when you watch him on some of the more staged shows like The Ed Sullivan Show, the humor’s there but there’s something just different. You know, and when you got the albums, you heard a whole different kind of thing going on because he could tell you a story, tell you the story of big Bertha’s behind and we all knew a big Bertha. Even all the white kids knew a Big Bertha, you know, in every neighborhood except the . . . No, every neighborhood has that wino. Now maybe he isn’t on the corner, maybe the wino is parking his car coming from work, but you go over to those folks’ house and it’s the same guy, whether he’s on the street or he’s, you know, just come home from work from having . . .Again, you know, it’s universal, Richard was universal and innovative because no one had ever done it the way that he did it. Not who was black.
Mort Sahl told amazing stories but not from the neighborhood, you know. Richard was from a specific neighborhood and people went, “Hey, you’re talking about me. That’s, that’s me.”

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