Watching Pryor go from imitating a drinking deer to a woman debating about going in the woods gives just a hint of the comedic genius of the man. Crude, foul, and real, this is the first and best of his concert films. Pryo... more »r does dead-on impersonations of the respective races, cussing, trying to act tough, getting kicked in personal spots. But it's his imagination that elevates him to a different level. He gives his impressions of what animals think, from his own animals (a monkey, a Doberman) to police dogs, and it seems so exact, so prescient. Not to mention the fact that he is self-deprecating in the extreme, and has as much fun skewering himself as any other subject. Still vibrant, still funny. --Keith Simanton« less
"This is quite possibly the finest piece of stand-up comdey ever captured on film. Richard Pryor is at his absolute best, and the material is identifiable, thought provoking, and most of all, uproariously funny. The first fifteen or twenty minutes is an incredible outburst of energy, and will have the viewer laughing out loud almost non-stop. Pryor is great at turning everyday occurances into something everybody can laugh at, and even painful moments can transform into material. There are not enough words in the english language to adequately describe how funny this performance is, and I have personally seen it nearly 10 times. The language is strong, but this really does not diminish or distract from the material itself.My only observation may be that the negative reviews have all been for the DVD copy, which evidently is not up to quality standards. This is certainly not the case with the video cassette version, and I can only recommend that this edition be purchased. All other reviews have been 5/5 stars, and the poor quality DVD edition should be taken off the market until it can be remastered."
A master at the height of his powers
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 06/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While the past few decades have seen the emergence of tons of comedians who spit out swears and graphic subject matter with reckless abandon, precious few have taken offensive subject matter and turned it into something intelligent and entertaining at the same time. Denis Leary, Bill Hicks, and Dave Chappelle come to mind when I think of such a select group, but Richard Pryor may well have towered over them all. And 1979's Richard Pryor: Live in Concert may have been his definitive document. This 90-minute standup DVD sees Pryor giving a manic, imaginative, deliriously profane performance that had the audience in the palm of his hand from beginning to end. A master impersonator with a vast pantheon of characters and voices, Pryor didn't just talk about his subjects, he *became* them; he acted out every person, every story, and every idea to the fullest extent possible, constantly blurring the line between real and make-believe. Jokes about animals quickly gave way to spot-on imitations, whether of the inner thoughts of Dobermans or of his pet monkey's illicit sexual activities. Pryor's musings about racial differences in expressing grief were funny and insightful, but they were merely a setup for an outrageous recounting of his grandmother's reaction to his cocaine habit. There are also plenty of brutally honest stories about Pryor's life with his father, ranging from his father's death in mid-coitus ("he came and went at the same time"), to the one time Pryor stood up to his old man ("It wasn't really a fight, but I did the best I could"), and their time hunting together ("I hated being the dog"). Pryor's honesty and insightfulness come out in plenty of other places too, from his troubles with the law to his heart attack to his less-than-stellar boxing career. All throughout, though, no matter what the subject, Pryor piles on joke after insight after impression with pitch-perfect timing and plenty of scatological language. For those of any age, race, or political leaning, this is a must-see."
Material 5 stars; Mastering no stars
Jay Jones | Charles Town, WV USA | 11/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One can't say enough about how really funny this concert is. This concert shows Richard Pryor at his very best. There are so many bits, including "The Heart Attack," "Shooting the car," "The Pet Monkey," that it's unfair to begin to list the laugh-so-hard-that-you're-crying material. Now, to the bad news. The mastering of this tape is the worst I've ever seen. Period, bar none. While the picture is acceptable (obviously no time or expense to improve on the VHS product), it is the sound that is really disconcerting. A good half of the DVD, the sound is out of sync with the picture (I know this because I returned my first copy as being defective and got a new one that was exactly the same). It is unforgivable to see the lack of care that was put into this product. No extra features of notable mention. It is trully a shockingly poor representation of one of the all-time great comedians at his comic best."
Pryor is great, DVD sucks
Jay Jones | 01/14/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is a travesty. This is one of the great stand up comic shows of the last 50 years and yet the DVD sound track is off by so much that it is distracting. Stay away. Perhaps the VHS tape is better."
DO NOT BUY!!!!!
Jay Jones | 01/02/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is the funniest 90 minutes of my life! However, the audio syncing on the DVD is SO BAD that it is extremely distracting. Buy the VHS version."