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Pioneering comic Paul Mooney, a writer for Richard Pryor, dies at 79

Obit Paul Mooney
Posted at 12:32 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 15:46:12-04

NEW YORK (AP) — Paul Mooney, a boundary-pushing comedian who was Richard Pryor’s longtime writing partner and whose sage, incisive musings on racism and American life made him a revered figure in stand-up, has died. He was 79.

Cassandra Williams, Mooney’s publicist, says he died Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland, California, from a heart attack.

Mooney’s friendship and collaboration with Pryor began in 1968 and lasted until Pryor’s death in 2005.

Together, they confronted racism perhaps more directly than it ever had been before onstage.

Mooney wasn’t as widely known as Pryor, but his influence on comedy was ubiquitous.

As head writer on “In Living Color,” Mooney helped create the Homey D. Clown character.

He also played the future foretelling Negrodamus on “Chappelle’s Show.”