- 20 May 21
The Richard Pryor collaborator died at his home in Oakland.
Paul Mooney died from a heart attack on Wednesday morning (May 19th) in his Oakland, California home, at the age of 79. Mooney’s official Twitter account broke the news to fans.
Paul Mooney co-wrote much of Richard Pryor’s comedy specials and was the head of writing on the NBC series, The Richard Pryor Showm which began and ended in 1977. The comedy icon also wrote for Sanford and Son and Good Times and was the head writer for In Living Colour’s opening season.
Mooney also performed his own stand-up comedy, where he tackled topics of race and politics and other controversial subjects. The comedian said he believed this was why he didn’t achieve the commercial success of his fellow comedians.
“Hollywood likes you a certain way when you’re black,” said the writer, comedian and actor.
Mooney acted in a number of films including The Buddy Holly Story, Bustin’ Love, In The Army Now and Bamboozled.
The comedian also worked in a group of comics referred to as "The Black Pack,” which included Eddie Murphy, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Arsenio Hall and filmmaker Robert Townsend. He later worked and appeared on Dave Chappelle's Chapelle’s Show.
“You don’t fuck with Paul Mooney,” Chappelle once said about his writing partner. “You don’t fuck with his writing, his material, his sketches. and you certainly don’t tell him what to do! Trust me, I’ve learned.”