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Richard Pryor

Born: December 1, 1940, Peoria, Illinois
Died: December 10, 2005 (age 65), Encino, California

Richard Pryor - Trivia powered by ABERichard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III was an American comedian, actor and writer. He was a storyteller known for unflinching examinations of racism and customs in modern life, and was well-known for his frequent use of colorful, vulgar and profane language and racial epithets. 

He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations. He is commonly regarded as one of the most important stand-up comedians of his time.

What do you know about Richard Prylor? Laugh at this quick quiz.

1. From 1958 to 1960, Pryor served in the U.S. Army, but spent virtually that entire stint in an army prison. According to a 1999 profile about Pryor in The New Yorker, Pryor was incarcerated for an incident that occurred while stationed in Germany.

  • Fact or Myth?

2. He was expelled from school at age 14. What was his first professional performance at a night club?

  • Playing drums
  • Stand up comedian
  • Emcee

3. In 1963, Pryor moved to New York City and began performing regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. On one of his first nights, he opened for a singer and pianist at New York's Village Gate. Who was the performer?

  • Nina Simone
  • Wayne Newton
  • Mark Reynolds

4. Pryor began as a middlebrow comic, with material far less controversial than what was to come. Who was his inspiration?

  • Woody Allen
  • Herbie Hancock
  • Bill Cosby

5. In 1969, Pryor moved to Seattle, Washington, where he immersed himself in the counterculture and rubbed elbows with the likes of Huey P. Newton and Ishmael Reed.

  • Fact or Myth?

6. The Richard Pryor Show premiered on NBC in 1977 but after only four shows, the series was cancelled. Television audiences were apparently not ready for the show's controversial subject matter, and Pryor was unwilling to alter the content of his material to meet the demands of network censors. During the short-lived series, he portrayed the first African-American President of the United States and in another skit, used costumes and visual distortion to appear nude.

  • Fact or Myth?

7. On June 9, 1980, Pryor set himself on fire after freebasing cocaine while drinking 151 proof alcohol. He ran down Parthenia St. from his Northridge, California home until subdued by police. He was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for the burns covering more than half of his body. Pryor spent six weeks in recovery at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital. In a TV interview with Barbara Walters during his recovery, what did Pryor say he was trying to do?

  • Commit suicide
  • Become Superman
  • Fly like an airplane

8. In 1991, Pryor announced that he had been suffering from what disease since 1986?

  • Lou Gehrig Disease
  • multiple sclerosis
  • cancer

9. Pryor died of cardiac arrest in Encino, California. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 7:58 a.m. PST. Pryor died just 9 days after his 65th birthday. He was brought to the hospital after his wife's attempts to resuscitate him failed.

  • Fact or Myth?

10. Where is Richard Pryor buried?

  • Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California
  • Cremated and ashes were either given to a friend or family
  • Heaven Cemetery, Peoria, Illinois


1. Fact

2. Playing drums

3. Nina Simone

4. Bill Cosby

5. Myth. In 1969, Pryor moved to Berkeley, California, where he immersed himself in the counterculture and rubbed elbows with the likes of Huey P. Newton and Ishmael Reed.

6. Fact

7. Commit suicide

8. multiple sclerosis

9. Fact

Angels on your pillow10. Cremated, ashes given to family or friend.

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