US film and stand-up comedian Richard Pryor has died after a long illness. His unflinching, frequently foul-mouthed observations on his life and his race made him famous. Here are some of the things he said.
ON RACISM AND RACE
I live in racist America and I'm uneducated, yet a lot of people love me and like what I do, and I can make a living from it. You can't do much better than that.
I went to Zimbabwe... I know how white people feel in America now, relaxed! Cause when I heard the police car I knew they weren't coming after me!
I went through every phone book in Africa, and I didn't find one goddamned Pryor!
Marriage is really tough because you have to deal with feelings... and lawyers.
I believe in the institution of marriage, and I intend to keep trying till I get it right.
ON MARK TWAIN
Asked what he felt about receiving an award named after the famous writer, Pryor said:
I didn't know him personally.
I couldn't stop. I put the pipe down. It jumped back in my hand.
ON HIS LIFE
I had some great things and I had some bad things. The best and the worst... In other words, I had a life.
You have to have lived some life. You've got to have paid some dues.
I'd like to make you laugh for about ten minutes. Though I'm gonna be on for an hour.
ON MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
To be diagnosed was the hardest thing because I didn't
know what they were talking about... And the
doctor said, "Don't worry, in three months you'll know." So I went about my business and then, one day, it jumped me. I couldn't get up... Your muscles trick you; they did me.
During a stand-up routine in 1992, he asked:
Is there a doctor in the audience? No, I'm serious. I
want to know if there's a doctor here.
After some nervous laughter from the audience, a hand finally went up. Pryor continued:
Doctor - I need to know one thing. What the [expletive] is MS?