When: Wed., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m. 2012
If you need proof on the influence of Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, the comic's 1979 foray into bringing his stand-up to movie theaters, just look at what Kevin Hart did last year when he dropped Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain into multiplexes. In that movie, the rising young comic followed in Pryor's footsteps and kept it real, riffing on his dysfunctional upbringing and sexual hang-ups the same frank way Pryor did more than 30 years ago.
And that is what makes Richard Pryor: Live in Concert the crown jewel of stand-up comedy movies. Not only was Pryor brutally honest with his humor, he was also astonishingly animated. He didn't just stand on stage telling stories—he created full-fledged performances. His bits on race, sex, boxing, going into the woods, even having a heart attack are immortal because Pryor verbally and physically creates scenes right in front of your eyes. That, and they're still funny. —Craig D. Lindsey