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This video is one of those classics that you just have to see. Everyone knows that Richard Pryor was the first black comedian to truly set the world on fire. But people also know that he was a troubled man who struggled with drug abuse and a host of other issues.
Part of the reason for Pryor’s struggles is that he grew up in difficult circumstances, with his mother working as a prostitute, and his grandmother running a brothel. This is enough to make anyone lose their mind.
This video is an interview with Pryor a few years after he set himself on fire while freebasing cocaine. Originally, when Barbara Walters asked Pryor if he caught himself on fire using drugs, he said no. Now, he’s admitting that this is what actually did happen.
The second thing that Walters addresses is the rumor that Pryor has AIDS. He’d fallen ill and wasn’t his old self, and people wondered if there was something wrong with the actor. Pryor takes great offense at the speculation he has AIDS, and says that anyone who writes anything about a person’s life should make sure that they are accurate with their information.
The interview is interesting.
But despite Pryor’s struggles, we still love him.
There will never be another one like him.
Enjoy the interview.