7 Things You Didn’t Know About Paul Mooney

Paul-MooneyPaul Mooney is an American comedian, writer, social critic, television and film actor. He is best known for his appearances on the Chappelle’s show and as a writer for the comedian Richard Pryor, but here are some facts that aren’t as well known about him.

1.  Mooney was originally born in Shreveport, Louisiana but later moved to Oakland, California.

2.  Paul Gladney is his birth name.  The name Mooney was given to him by his grandmother (known as “Mama” among his family). She never explained to him where she got the name from or what it even means!

3.  Mooney was in the circus. He became a ringmaster with the Gatti-Charles Circus. During his time as ringmaster, he always found himself writing comedy and telling jokes, which helped him land his first professional job as a writer for Richard Pryor.

4.  In addition to being the head writer for The Richard Pryor Show, Mooney also wrote for Redd Foxx’s “Sanford and Son” and “Good Times.”

5.  Homey D. Clown was Paul Mooney’s brain child.  He was the head writer for the first year of Fox’s “In Living Color”, creating the character Homey D. Clown, played by Damon Wayans.

6.  Mooney once had beef with Diana Ross.  At the 2005 BET Comedy Awards Mooney awarded Ross and made numerous jokes about Ross’ 2002 arrest for DUI. According to people who were in attendance, Mooney also made light of the death of Ross’ ex-husband Arne Næss Jr., who fell while mountain climbing in 2004.  Tracee Ellis Ross, Ross’s daughter and Næss’s stepdaughter, was also in attendance. She reportedly was so offended and embarrassed that she left the room and was comforted by host Steve Harvey. Backstage in the press room, Mooney was asked if he felt his performance was “over the top”. Mooney replied:

“How can somebody get arrested for (being under the influence) and go to jail and I be over the top? I think that’s over the top, don’t you? Agree or disagree, folks. No, comedy is not over the top. When you are a celebrity and you do crazy stuff, that’s the game.” When asked if he knew that Tracee Ellis Ross was in the audience he said, “I didn’t know … her mama could’ve been in there, that’s not the point. I didn’t drive drunk. Now I’m responsible for Diana Ross? If you scrutinize Jay Leno and David Letterman the same way you scrutinize me, then I’ll agree with you, but if you don’t touch them white folks don’t touch me. They say whatever they want to say every night.”

7.  Paul Mooney made some very controversial remarks about the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. Mooney allegedly joked “white people in Boston deserved what they got and (it was) OK to lose a few limbs… as long as no blacks got hurt it was OK.” Numerous audience members stormed out and the show’s producer cancelled the remaining shows.

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There are 52 comments for this article
  1. Vandellish at 1:47 pm

    Although he’s a legend, Paul Mooney can be an extreme jackazz at times. He’d be the first to tell you that though.

    He strikes me as being very bitter about being denied opportunities over the years so it’s hard to blame him but there’s really no excuse for what he said in #7. As Maya Angelou puts it ‘it’s ok and only natural to be angry at some things but bitterness only withers at its host.’ She said this ironically in an interview with Mooney’s friend and fellow comedian Dave Chappelle. Check for it on Youtube.

  2. Tony Candler at 4:43 am

    As far as I'm concern, Paul only spoke what is the truth and made comments where most of us felt. I don't see a problem. Oh I got it, since Paul Mooney was talking about white things, now it's a problem. WOW, Mr. Mooney, if anyone wishes not to hear the truth, let them run. Keep telling it like it is….. remember Petey Green? I'm with you Mr. Mooney.

  3. Tony at 12:44 am

    As far as I’m concern, Paul only spoke what is the truth and made comments where most of us felt. I don’t see a problem. Oh I got it, since Paul Mooney was talking about white things, now it’s a problem. WOW, Mr. Mooney, if anyone wishes not to hear the truth, let them run. Keep telling it like it is….. remember Petey Green? I’m with you Mr. Mooney.

  4. Dave Mills at 8:52 am

    i love me some Paul Mooney, but over the last few years not so much, he is still funny as hell on certain things, but Paul appears to go out of his way to cause offence, and like anyone else, we try and be better human beings on a daily basis, and for me it's very sad that someone would say or even think it's ok for whites to be blown up as long as there were No black folk in there, and then trying to hide under the cloak of " YOUR SCARED " or " YOUR AN UNCLE TOM ". , because of slavery and modern day injustices, does not make me feel this way and it's sad that people do, and that ain't got nothing to do with being scared. I read a post about a Native American woman with a Black man who's young children were abused by other black children, so you can see where that mentality goes, you end up being No better than the oppressor, Similar to some of the Freed Slaves in San Domingo who did well for themselves, and went on to become slave masters themselves, CRAZY!! i have lots of Paul Mooney tapes and CD's, his best work is highlighting the differences in the way we are treated, ( i.e police reports, aliens, Tiger woods,) funny as hell and cracks me up to this day. he is the only man that can make me laugh like Richard Pryor, only Richard would not feel such a sentiment. Peace

  5. Johnny Taylor at 8:47 am

    Mooney is his own worst enemy. The reason why Mooney hasn't received more opportunities is because he's a jerk with a big mouth. I'm all for being radical and pro-black, but I draw the line when you show no remorse for loss lives?? What's that about and really coming from? That's sound evil and anti-semantic. That's a play right out of the "White man's playbook" So who's side are you really on Paul? Black people have enough trouble, we don't need anymore bad karma mocking dead people. I mean really??? He's from the old school he knows better than that.

  6. deon love at 6:57 am

    I guess some of you missed the Facebook and instagram posts with white people dressed as Trayvon Martin, dressed in black face etc. Don’t be mad at Paul for being uncompromising. I don’t hear any sympathy from them about our Black Men that die in the streets. I hear contempt.

  7. Pingback: He invented Homie D. Clown on Living Color: 7 Things you may not know about Paul Mooney | Sirius News Report
  8. Darious Williams at 2:39 pm

    One thing I honestly know & that's he crack jokes about serious things on a serious level. I also like something he said at his standup comedy show. He said "Here in the land of our oppressors it's only two ways you can run. Either you're scared or you're free! Now, which one are you?!" Shabbat Shalom

  9. James Pinkard at 3:56 pm

    While comedy is comedy there should always be at the end of a punchline where every one should be able to either laugh or not laugh but not be upset. For instance whn Richard Pryor used the N word is act – I must say I didn't really care for him using this word but I didn't go away pissed either. You have choices to what you want to listen to. In this instance Ms. Ross nor her daughter had that choice. Mr. Mooney had a chance to be funny and blew it!!

  10. NAHMEANSON101 at 12:26 pm

    Paul Mooney is the TRUTH!!!!..and I agree completely with deon..”they” dress up as Trayvon Martin for halloween in mockery..”they” put on black face making mockery of Black people and our ancestors..”they” want to justify the death’s of Jordan Davis..Oscar Grant..Renisha McBride and every other Black person(ASHE) killed by these devils..and you still got these COON made negroes having sympathy for these craKKKers who HATE your Black azz because your Black no matter how much COON’n you do..WAKE UP!!!!.

  11. carson queen at 1:32 pm

    Stop saying he, “made comments where most of us felt.” that pure silliness. Why would he say anything about the husband that was killed and the children are in attendance?

    The boston comment was unnecessary, there’s smoulthering evil in your heart if you find pleasure and acceptance in such acts.

  12. Nehes Ba'a Rayay at 8:54 pm

    Mr. Mooney is a rare breed!!! especially in a society where every film, every talk show, every TV broadcasting is designed to DUMB YOUR ASS down. we watch these "PROGRAMS" (did you catch it) where they show negroes not knowing who they are and don't care to know and they pass that attitude down to the rest of the nigglets. #STOPBEINGHUMANCATTLE

  13. Corbin at 6:13 pm

    That’s what I love about Mr. Mooney, he does not hold back. He speaks the truth and he doesn’t care if it hurts. The thing that I do not understand about him is his “Hulk Hogan” head wraps.

  14. Michelle Butler at 12:28 am

    Many Moon's ago (pun intended), I was @ Laugh Factory to experience Mr. Mooney (as well as many other now famous comedians) performance. I watched him clear the room of all caucasian and some other audience members. They literally got up and walked out and talked shit to them as they did. Even though I was not comfortable with a lot of the things that were coming out his mouth, I did realize that this was real, this is how he really feels. I have no right to tell somebody how to feel, anymore than you have the right to tell me how to. My date and I just kinda sat there looking back and forth at each other like just say the word and we out. After his set, he came to the table and joined us, where we chopped it up for a while about a lot of things, trying to get a glimpse of where all this anger comes from, don't think that I ever got my answer. Again, I do not necessarily agree with his opinions or the way he expresses them, however I do agree and respect his right to them. Let's just look @ Sy, of duck dynasty; "all our slaves were happy", is some of the dumbest crap that I have ever heard, however he is white and back on TV.

  15. Paying GigWanted at 8:09 am

    Paul’s target market is black people; hence the reason they feel some type of kinship to his dialogue. I don’t know if he has a wife or a woman friend, but he needs to be smothered with LOVE. He’s a handsome guy, but his rhetoric is somewhat brash. I consider myself to be a fan and I love that he is able to get paid to say what is on his mind under the umbrella of COMEDY 🙂

  16. Sundiata Keita at 11:20 am

    Johnny Taylor lmnao come on bro. when in history have white people shown remorse for black life? did you know that its 64,000 missing black women in america but you never see one on the news. and i disagree with ya brutha, black people dont have a problem with karma. like they say in Hidden Colors "black people dont have a problem. black people's problem is that white people have a problem with black people." these are the same people that made george zimmerman a millionaire.

  17. Sundiata Keita at 11:23 am

    yall better appreciate these older black folks why they are still here. we definitely cant keep it real like they do. and once they gone, they not coming back.

  18. Geree Morris at 11:38 am

    No he didn't blow it if he had been white all of the sleeping coons would have been cracking up!!!! Sometimes his intent is purely conscious , awakening shock value and he knows not all of the sheeple will awaken , but he'll take what he can get and God bless him!!!

  19. A Ra'Sean Wilson at 12:35 pm

    I'm not the overly sensitive type, and can listen to almost anything w/o being offended, but it seems that most ppl aren't like me. Paul's comments about the vision marathon bombing was funny and completely inoffensive to me, now the comments about Diana Ross's husband was very offensive, whether she was there or not. Comedy is not a platform to be a classless @$$hole! And Paul crossed the line there, have some respect for the dead, and for those who may still be mourning. Right is right, and wrong is wrong!!

  20. Sueanna Madison at 1:23 pm

    I think paul Mooney is very funny, but I also agree the cycle has to be broken, I don't get offended by the things that he says because im not a cold hearted person, if he is speaking on what he perceives to be true, then that's his opinion. Some of the racial jokes have some truth to them that has happened in the past. Its important that we all remember that a lot of our past has been hidden from us through the European, so he has some truth and we can't deny that, as far as Diana Ross she was being a little over sensitive I think.

  21. Semelo Shamari Shombey at 2:52 pm

    Johnny Taylor What is Anti-Semetic? In other words what is a Semetic? They are not the Original Semites, the word Semetic as used today, it's a misnomer, it's meant to deceive. So when you say Mr. Mooney sounds evil and Anti-Semetic being Black and all, I do not overstand why a another Black Man would make such a statement of non Fact?

  22. Chris Rogers at 3:20 pm

    Johnny Taylor You can't have it both ways!!! Whites don't care if our children die isn't that obvious with the way the verdict went in the Trayvon Martin case? You either have to make a STAND or go sit on the sidelines…but understand,when the time comes there will not be a sideline!

  23. Artensel McCullough Jr at 6:27 pm

    This is very interesting about Paul Mooney's remarks about the Boston Bombings…I will say this: You have those Conservatives Radio Talk host make negative remarks about black people all the time; then get upset when Paul make a random remark about what he see is true to him when it comes to American Racism. Freedom of Speech is a right. #thinkaboutit

  24. James Pinkard at 7:01 pm

    Geree Morris Making light of someone's death will never be funny to me but I am different and my opinions differ from a lot of humans. I felt he could of left that comment out. That's the part he blew! i wasn't talking about Ms Ross' DUI – I could care less!!!

  25. Michele Loving at 8:17 pm

    Love Paul Mooney, as far as opportunities go, he weans the BS from the real. And he will never sell out. That is Hollywood. You act like N***** or who're and then get recognized by white society as the greatest performance to get not only nominated but win(rigged) the Oscars. Always look at the man in the mirror before you judge

  26. Stephen Bellinger at 8:27 pm

    Paul Mooney has no filter… this is who he is. Now if you are about free speech, that that's it. Now he can say what he wants, but he is not free from the consequences of what he says, hence the reason he is not as famous, as some think he should be.

  27. Mo Rodgers at 3:40 pm

    I’ve been knowing Paul Mooney for over 40 years now when I first came to Cali and he coming from Oakland, California.
    He’s a brilliant comic and writer. The best comics are over the top.
    And all the white ones at sometime have said something offensive. Comedy means taking something tragic and making it comedic. And Paul Mooney does just that.
    . I’ve heard Richard Pryor offend whites, Asians, Latinos and of course his own people. Paul Mooney being one of the best
    Should have the right to….offend, that’s what comedy does.
    In the end nothing is really off limits or “sacred”…to the great comics. Why?……because in a metaphysical sense life is absurd…if u really take a good look at it.
    U are born and then you die….and while “alive”, you wonder…why are you born…just to die? Comedy reminds us by whispering to us “don’t take it too seriously because you will start to believe your own bullshit”. Indeed. Right on Paul Mooney.

  28. Mo Rodgers at 3:50 pm

    U want to see something tragically funny?
    Watch the Church of Fox and how they come after President Obama everyday with total bullsh*t and call it news.
    No one says they are racist and they are.
    Where are the good white liberals? Calling them out?
    Where is the liberal press to say what the right wing. GOP is….racist. And Paul Mooney says something offensive about the
    Boston Marathon and all these black folks jump all over him.

  29. Anonymous at 1:57 pm

    I just saw the Paul Mooney comedy special. Was I supposed to laugh? In reference to the Paul Mooney's comments, when are blacks going to stop romanticizing about racism? They are so used to playing the victim that they need to site references from the first half or the 20th century to sound credible. Well, I'm not shedding any tears. Get a job! FYI, while blacks (some) are whining about being the victim, whitey (some) is going about his day trying to eek out a living. It would be easier for him if he didn't have to be taxed to support the whiners or those to lazy to pull their weight.
    I started at the bottom and I never used the race card. I scrubbed pots and pans and took abuse from cooks because I was a young, arrogant, and a teenage jerk. I put myself through college (multiple degrees) while working full time. Never borrowed money. Never asked for assistance. Never received a scholarship, despite having an almost perfect 4.0 GPA.
    My suggestion for all of the whiners is to take your whining energy and do something useful with it. Dr. King would be embarrassed if he heard blacks whining like this. If you need help or inspiration in order to overcome being a victim, read any book by Thomas Sowell. Yes, he is a black man – not an Uncle Tom.
    In your final days, when you are lying on your death bed, you will reflect back on your life and realize you accomplished nothing. Whining does not inspire. Those who have accomplish something inspired others. Mr. Mooney inspires others to hate and join his victim club.

  30. Eric Morgan at 1:21 am

    I like Mr. MOONEY he speaks his mind and it comes with America horror. People hate the truth when it hits home. People like to cover things up and not express themselves. We're Paul M speaks his mind just like the Late Joan Rivers. Comedy is a cure for any disease. Especially the disease of Racism. He has freedom of speech and everyone loves him even the ones with negative response. Cause you listen to him and watch him with great anticipation to give your Opinion. Paul Mooney rock's!

  31. Malik Thompson at 6:51 pm

    Hate speech is hate speech.
    Don’t matter who’s saying it.
    Sorry to say it but Paul is a racist.
    No better than any white man wearing a hood.

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