Unhappy information to report, as Paul Mooney, the veteran comic, author, and actor maybe finest recognized for his work with Richard Pryor, has handed away. In accordance with his household, Mooney suffered from a coronary heart assault at his house in Oakland, California, early on Wednesday morning. Responding paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him, and Mooney died on the age of 79 years outdated. He had additionally reportedly been affected by dementia for a while and was staying with a member of the family
Mooney, whose actual title was Paul Gladney, was born in Louisiana in 1941. As a toddler, he relocated to Oakland the place he grew up. He’d find yourself coining the nickname “Mooney” for himself primarily based on the actor Paul Muni from the unique Scarface (1932). Destined to be an entertainer, he started his profession as a ringmaster working with the Gatti-Charles Circus. Telling jokes on the circus would result in writing comedy material for Richard Pryor, one of many all-time biggest comedians.
As a part of a years-long collaboration, Mooney would write jokes for Pryor for years. This consists of writing a few of Pryor’s routines for his look on Saturday Evening Dwell together with co-writing another materials with Pryor for his comedy albums. Mooney would additionally function the pinnacle author for The Richard Pryor Present and some episodes of Pryor’s Place. He additionally wrote for Sanford and Son and Good Occasions, later working as the pinnacle author for the sketch comedy sequence In Residing Colour.
As an actor, Mooney performed iconic singer Sam Cooke within the 1978 biopic The Buddy Holly Story. He additionally appeared in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled which reunited him with Damon Wayans, with whom he helped to create the well-known Homey D. Clown character on In Residing Colour. Mooney’s different film credit embody Which Method Is Up?, Bustin’ Unfastened, Hollywood Shuffle, and Good Hair. His closing massive display look was as a klansman within the 2016 comedy Meet the Blacks.
Mooney will also be remembered for showing in sketches on the Comedy Central series Chappelle’s Show, together with “Ask a Black Dude” and “Mooney on the Films.” The comic and actor would additionally host the BET tribute to Black Historical past Month, referred to as 25 Most @#%! Moments in Black Historical past, in 2006. The next 12 months, he’d launch his memoir Black Is the New White. Over the subsequent a number of years, Mooney would additionally proceed to carry out standup comedy.
Many at the moment are paying tribute to Mooney, together with a few of his well-known followers. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay posted to Twitter: “Paul Mooney. A comedy big. I recall listening to his RACE album in faculty and the way formative it was. Yeah, the jokes. However extra so, the liberty. He spoke freely and fearlessly about emotions and experiences others discovered tough to specific. Might he be really free now. Relaxation, sir.”
Comic and podcast host Marc Maron provides: “RIP the nice Paul Mooney. It was an honor to be a again of the room scholar for his late evening grasp lessons once I was a doorman again within the day.”