General News

Richard Pryor, King of Comedy

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Bad boy of comedy Richard Pryor is scheduled to receive a lifetime achievement award tonight at MTV Film’s premiere for "The Original Kings of Comedy." In recent years, Pryor has wrestled with multiple sclerosis, limiting his ability to move around on his own, which makes tonight’s appearance especially rare.

During the event, which will take place at the Paramount lot in Hollywood, "Kings" director Spike Lee will present Pryor with an MTV astronaut statuette dubbing him "The Original King of Comedy."

"It’s been acknowledged by everyone involved in this film how influential Mr. Pryor has been in breaking down barriers for all comedians today," David Gale, producer and senior VP at MTV Films, told Daily Variety.

This isn’t the comedian’s only milestone this year. Rhino Records will also release "Richard Pryor: Sand It's Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings," a nine-CD box set of Pryor’s standup material, on Oct. 17. It will include all seven of the comedian’s original albums as well as a full disc of material from the 1970s,’80s and ’90s that was never released.

"The Original Kings of Comedy," set for an Aug. 18 release, features concert footage from Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac.

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