Written in Ink
Written in Ink

While reading about Richard Pryor the other day, I learned that in 1977, NBC aired four episodes of The Richard Pryor Show opposite Happy Days/Laverne & Shirley. There were originally supposed to be ten, but frustrated by network interference during development, Pryor reportedly balked and agreed to do just four.

The following are just a handful of clips mined from a YouTube user's archive, who has a lot more. I'm yet to watch them all and if I try to make a best list, it'd be a very big post. By all appearances, though there aren't full episodes, @GregDeanness could be offering every skit.


As you can see, the program was a Who's Who from guests Maya Angelou and John Belushi, through regular players Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Tim Reid, John Witherspoon, Marsha Winfield and Paul Mooney. The program didn't get great ratings, there were battles with the censors, race was a big topic and many of the performances could be called high art.

Unlike a lot of what is on TV at any time, these clips need to be be savored and watched again.

Over the next couple of days, I hope to have watched every available clip. I don't know who owns the rights, but if it's NBCU, I suggest they put full episodes on Hulu.

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