I Am Richard Pryor Documentary

The South by Southwest Film Festival kicks off this weekend, and we’ll have all sorts of coverage from the films premiering down in Austin, Texas. While you’ll be stuck waiting for most of them to make it to a theater near you (with the exception of Jordan Peele’s Us arriving later this month), at least one of the documentaries playing the festival will be available for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home very shortly after it premieres.

I Am Richard Pryor is a new documentary from Network Entertainment’s growing I Am documentary franchise. The film series has previously focused on the likes of stars such as Heath Ledger, Paul Walker, Chris Farley, and Bruce Lee, as well as historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. Now Richard Pryor, one of the most revered stand-up comedians of all-time, will get the documentary spotlight, and plenty of recognizable faces will pay tribute to the man himself. 

I Am Richard Pryor Documentary Clip

As you can see in the teaser clip above, comedians Tiffany Haddish and Mike Epps were greatly influenced by Richard Pryor. You’d be hard-pressed to find any comedian who doesn’t have an immense amount of respect for the groundbreaking comic. Pryor was raunchy and hilarious, but like the best comedians in the world, he was also raw and honest. He never shied away from the harder side of life in his act, and his stand-up specials were all the better for it.

In addition to Tiffany Haddish and Mike Epps,  the film will also feature appearances from Sandra Bernhard, Ron De Blasio, Dr. Todd Boyd, Henry Jaglom, Howie Mandel, Thom Mount, Ishmael Reed, Scott Saul, Michael Schultz, Greg Tate, Lily Tomlin, Rocco Urbisci, and Jimmie Walker. Plus, Jennifer Pryor will have a prominent appearance where she “uniquely honors the life of her husband.”

If you want to see I Am Richard Pryor yourself, it will debut on Paramount Network on Friday, March 15 at 10pm ET/PT. But if you don’t get that channel, you can also catch it on Comedy Central later that night at 11:30pm ET/PT.

Here’s the official synopsis for I Am Richard Pryor, directed by Jesse James Miller:

I Am Richard Pryor explores and celebrates the life and career of the iconic comedian who lifted himself out of poverty to achieve worldwide success. From his first comedy album until his death of a heart attack in 2005, the revolutionary stand-up comedian dispensed what critics regarded as the most poignant and penetrating comedic view of African-American life ever afforded to the U.S. at large. Volatile yet vulnerable, crass but sensitive, streetwise and cocky, Pryor did not simply tell stories, he brought them to life and was considered a trailblazer for generations of comics to come. The film explores his unusually personal art that was a window into a vulnerable soul, as well as the endless struggle to extend dignity and equality to all.

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