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on April 17, 2009
This is not only the best of Richard Pryor but could well be the finest example of stand-up comedy ever recorded. You can see the influences of Lenny Bruce, Redd Foxx and Bill Cosby in the creation of the stories that Pryor tells. In turn, you can see how closely subsequent comedians, particularly Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, have modelled their performances on those of Richard Pryor. Live in Concert is a great film recording of a perfect stand-up performance.
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on July 11, 2004
It's clear that NO other comedian in a live stand-up show can equal to "Richard Pryor Live in Concert". This was a rare magical night when everything went right. Amazingly, he put 100% plus into this comedy act and it shows!
Known for his observational humor, he takes on his family with respect, like the bit with his grandmother's funeral. In his act, he seems to show little more respect for women than some comedians do. Pryor pokes a lot of fun at himself, his wife and the law. While he has a huge stage to himself, he uses it for some very funny physical routines that warrant its use.
He brilliantly takes on the voices of many characters and furthermore, he interjects the voice and thoughts of his dogs, and monkeys and he even takes on the voice of internal pain if you are not in shape. He also becomes the voice of body parts, such as the hilarious words from his heart (the organ while experiencing a heart attack.) It is funny to hear him when, vocally, he imitates the "white person."
He doesn't display the angst many of black comedians do, that is why his humor works for many! Yes, there is profanity, but he is NOT as disgusting or crude as so many others. Like most comedians of his type, there are always the sex routines.
To say this is funny is an understatement. It is hysterical with nonstop laughter throughout. Some routines are his fear of swimming, running to be in shape, the Chinese stutterer, in the woods, boxing, and his role as a parent, that classic bit when he finds his kid in a lie.
This 1979 90-minute performance is a classic! It's easy to see why Pryor is a major influence on the best comedians around....(...)
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on April 9, 2000
This is quite possibly the finest piece of stand-up comdey ever captured on film. Richard Pryor is at his absolute best, and the material is identifiable, thought provoking, and most of all, uproariously funny. The first fifteen or twenty minutes is an incredible outburst of energy, and will have the viewer laughing out loud almost non-stop. Pryor is great at turning everyday occurances into something everybody can laugh at, and even painful moments can transform into material. There are not enough words in the english language to adequately describe how funny this performance is, and I have personally seen it nearly 10 times. The language is strong, but this really does not diminish or distract from the material itself.
My only observation may be that the negative reviews have all been for the DVD copy, which evidently is not up to quality standards. This is certainly not the case with the video cassette version, and I can only recommend that this edition be purchased. All other reviews have been 5/5 stars, and the poor quality DVD edition should be taken off the market until it can be remastered.
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on November 29, 1998
Pryor's brillance as a story teller, urban humorist, and master of colloquial speech was never more obvious than in this, the first, and by far the best of his three "live" concert films. Pryor's observations on death, sex, marriage, and racial difference is presented as rthymically as a Albert Ailey ballet, punctuated with obscentity laced speech that seems as natural to the performance as a pair of toe slippers on a ballerina. Filmgoers can watch Pryor mesermize his live concert audience as he slips nimbly between multiple characterizations like a quick change artist, playing everything from a heart attack victim negotiating with God to a Great Dane contemplating a sexual encounter with a Shetland Pony. Camera close-ups capture Pryor's ability to transform his face and body from cheetah chasing a gazelle to a child asked to go outside and bring in a switch; from white woman weeping at a white funeral to a black woman wailing at a black funeral - all the contortions, dialects, and expressions without benefit or need of special effects. Pryor's raw, natural humor is captured to perfection, live and spontaneous as it happened - but preseved, thankfully, in this film. In a day when cable was in its infancy, not fully testing it's wide-open, uncensored content of today, most audiences had no opportunity to see Pryor on stage, unbridled and unrestrained. At the time of the filming, theater owners had no experience with comedy-concert films, yet alone one starring an unpredictable maverick who had been compared to a black Lenny Bruce with an attitude. After the concert was filmed, the producers could find no theater chain interested in taking a chance on this first-ever comedy performance movie and were forced to resort to "four-walling" the film in a single Los Angeles themselves. The long lines and sold out crowds changed the minds of theater chain owners and the film eventually opened nationwide to universally rave reviews and greatful audiences. The film's continuous contageous humor is only matched by the film's historical importance.
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on December 26, 1998
I first saw this when I was 14, back in the early 80's. I had seen Richard Pryor before, on "Saturday Night Live," but never in a stand up setting. Living in the suburbs of New York's Capital District, where there is very little exposure to black arts and culture, I appreciated this film for its immense homor, and as a teen didn't understand the message included in the humor. (I laughed so hard tears poured out of my eyes.) My point is that its humor reaches to many levels and many races. This is a landmark achievement in cinema, right up there with "Casablanca," "Ran," "Cinema Paradiso" and others. It was certainly deserving of Oscars for Film of the Year and Best Performance By an Actor. It's an essential for any collection.
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on December 22, 2000
This is by far Richard Pryor's best taped concert. I saw it with my college roommate for the first time. He had already seen it, and he was laughing at me because I was laughing so hard that it literally brought tears to my eyes!
Then I bought the tape a few years later and watched it with my wife. She was laughing so hard that she missed most of the dialogue the first time around. She had to watch it again to catch what she had missed.
It's Richard Pryor at his rudest, crudest best-talking about his squirrel monkeys, run-ins with the police, heart attacks, drug use, sex, hunting and being an amateur boxer.
If you want to laugh your ... off, get this tape! It's hilarious!
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on February 20, 2000
This is the greatest stand-up performance I've ever seen. The jokes are brilliant and the impersonations - from dogs to deer to stuttering Chinese waiters - are spot-on funny. But like all truly great comedy, the jokes spring from a deep well of humanity. Only a genius can make you laugh at his own heart attack, cocaine addiction and unhappy childhood. This is comedy with more depth and emotion - and sheer comic talent - than anything I've ever seen before. I would never again watch any of those dreadful films that Pryor made (eg. The Toy, Stir Crazy) but I have watched "Live in Concert" many times. It is a work of genius. The funniest stand-up ever !
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on May 10, 2000
My favorite parts of this movie are the ease with which Richard gets into the heads and talks about animals, from the monkey to the dogs and the horses and the dog that comes over to help richard mourn the loss of the monkey and leaves telling him he's going to chase him again tomorrow. He gets very personal in terms of drugs and heart attacks and its very funny in a somewhat warped way. Also quite touching. They say Richard set the stage for Eddie and chris Rock and all of them, and this is true, good, self-deprecating and funny standup stuff. The funniest I've ever seen Richard Pryor.
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on March 13, 2001
With all due respect to the person who said that the CD version was better than the original. Let it be kniown that the CD was a recording of a different concert on the same "Wanted" tour.
In any event, I feel the video is much funnier than the CD, because we can see those classic expressions. A lot of Richard's comedy is visual. This is without a doubt, his finest work.
This is Jimi at Woodstock. This is Reggie Jackon in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series.
The best ever at HIS BEST EVER.
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on June 26, 2015
This stuff is hysterical from beginning to end....the definitive Pryor. Want to know where Eddie Murphy got the inspiration for "Delirious" (indeed his entire career)? This is the blueprint. I had stomach pains for two days after watching this.
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