Thank you, Eugene Robinson

pryor4Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson has put into words part of what I was struggling to say in my post about the God-haunted side of comic genius Richard Pryor. When the main hook for comedian is that he is going to talk openly about the dark side of life, that implies that there is some light -- somewhere. When that comedian openly states is that his goal is to tell the Truth, with a big "T," then that implies that such a thing exists, even when talking about the racist sins of a society or the drug-based demons in his own soul. So how did Pryor handle all of that, when he was on stage?

... (Along) with the fallen, Pryor also portrayed men of the cloth -- black preachers whom he cleverly used to deliver social commentary. It didn't matter how puffed-up he made them sound, or how foolishly he had them preen and strut; it didn't matter that they might be paying undue attention to shapely female parishioners or the contents of the collection plate. Pryor always gave his preachers an air of dignity and command that their sins could not diminish. On a 1975 album -- ". . . Is It Something I Said?" -- Pryor complained that "white church" was "too scary for me," with its otherworldly music and somber iconography. "In black church," he said, "you get a show for your money."

It makes perfect sense that the most influential comedian of his time would identify with preachers who knew how to put on a proper show, who gave a committed performance, who refused to hold anything back -- and who told the truth. If the preacher was delivering a eulogy and the dearly departed had been a no-good dirty dog, well, that's what the preacher said. And the church said amen.

Yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Has anyone else seen solid MSM coverage of this side of Pryor's work?

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