Basically, my title sums it up. Richard Pryor plays pretty much himself here (why he chose the non de plume "Jo Jo Dancer" was probably to change the names of all characters in the film to protect the innocent). Aside from his army days and getting kicked out of school, as much of the major stuff that could be compressed in 2 hrs is here-growing up in the house of prostitution, the effect this had on his psyche, his troubled relationship with his father (it's really sad and embarrassing to watch a grown Pryor get cursed and slapped around by his Dad in front of his young wife), his early struggles in showbiz, drking and dope problems, etc. etc.
But Pryor's sermon near the end is a relavation and would have been a perfect coda to end his comedy career in films (this film was made at the time he began to get the symptoms of MS). Sadly, later abominations such as "Another You," "Moving," "Critical Condition," and "Harlem Nights" (REALLY tragic considering the talent involved) did not do well for his legacy. But if you stop here, this is a great way to remember the genius that was Richard Pryor (RIP).