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Paul Mooney

Paul Mooney (1941–2021), comedian, actor & writer for Richard Pryor and In Living Color

by Kirk Fox

Paul Mooney was a pioneering comic who was the writer for Richard Pryor, “In Living Color,” and “Chappelle’s Show.”

Pryor’s comedy writer

Mooney had a long relationship with legendary comedian Richard Pryor (1940–2005), writing for his stand-up act, his skits on “Saturday Night Live,” and for Pryor’s popular comedy albums. He was also the head writer on “The Richard Pryor Show.”

Actor and writer

Mooney was also an actor who played characters on “Chappelle’s Show,” where he was also a writer. He was in Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled” and played legendary soul singer Sam Cooke in “The Buddy Holly Story.” Mooney was also a stand-up comic and wrote a memoir in 2007 titled “Black Is the New White.”

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Mooney on his bond with Richard Pryor

“Opposites attract. It’s something I can’t really put my finger on. It was just supposed to be. And Richard and I really had nothing to do with it. It just had to be, like old souls.” – Popmatters interview – 2010

Tributes to Paul Mooney

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Full Obituary: Variety

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