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January 12, 2004

Richard Pryor, The Simpsons, and the Bow Wow Formerly Known as Lil

Watching TV has become a rare event for me, since I turned my cable off about 10 months ago. Some notes from hanging at mom's house last night:

1. The Simpsons needs to get cancelled. It has become a pale shadow of its former self, and every week it continues to air is a disgrace to what was once the greatest achievement in the history of television. I will come back to this later.. I'm not even kidding, it makes me angry.

2. One of the few people perched higher in my cultural pantheon than The Simpsons is Richard Pryor, so when we turned to Comedy Central's tribute "I Ain't Dead Yet", I was afraid it'd be another disservice to one of my heroes. It started off on the wrong foot with Richard's wife, Jennifer Lee Pryor, injecting far too much of herself into the mix, and I'd rather see more natural conversation instead of the VH1-style barrage of jump cuts between 35 different talking heads.

But even in that format an abundance of love was shining through from everyone they interviewed (fun to see Mos Def and Dave Chappelle hangin out), and between that and clips of the man himself, this turned out to be a halfway decent tribute.

One glaring omission: why did they talk to every comic except the one who knows Richard best, his right-hand man Paul Mooney? They even took a clip of Robert Townsend imitating Mooney, quoting his "I say nigger 100 times a day to keeps my teeth white" routine, but mixed it into a montage of Richard Pryor quotes and made it look like he was quoting Richard instead of Paul. Does Richard's wife (who was executive producer of the show) have some kind of beef with paul?

3. As I was watching Still Rather Petite Bow Wow's segment on Punk'd, my mom walked in and asked "Is that Todd Bridges?!?" I'd say he looks more like Ronnie Devoe.

Posted by jsmooth995 at January 12, 2004 3:48 PM

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