Paul Mooney, the legendary comedic writer and performer, known for his work with Richard Pryor and Dave Chapelle has passed away. He was 79.
Mooney, revered for his boundary-pushing routines that tackled racism and social justice, passed away at his home in Oakland California on Wednesday, May 19th. His death was confirmed by his representative Cassandra Williams.
“Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts …you’re all are the best!…… Mooney World .. The Godfather of Comedy – ONE MOON MANY STARS! .. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks,” a tweet from Mooney’s official Twitter account read.
Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts …you’re all are the best!…… Mooney World .. The Godfather of Comedy – ONE MOON MANY STARS! .. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks🙏🏾
— Paul Mooney (@PaulEalyMooney) May 19, 2021
A prolific comedy writer, Mooney was the head writer on The Richard Pryor Show, in addition to co-writing some of Pryor’s material on a number of his comedy albums and Saturday Night Live sketches. Mooney also wrote for Sanford and Son, In Living Color, Pryor’s Place, The Larry Sanders Show.
Mooney also wrote and starred in Dave Chappelle’s Chapelle’s Show, a Comedy Central sketch show. The sketch saw him play the role of Negrodamus, a character based on the philosopher Nostradamus who took to answering questions like “Why do white people love Wayne Brady so much?” (“Because Wayne Brady makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X”).
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As an actor, Paul Mooney appeared as Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story (1978), and Junebug in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (2000).
Awww…. RIP comedy legend Paul Mooney! You were both funny and poignant. So happy to have witnessed your genius live. Rest well!!! Pour down some laughter here. We need it 💗💗💗 pic.twitter.com/cr6MqY3UXA
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 19, 2021
So saddened by the loss of a real comedy King, Paul Mooney. Total respect for my elder. Witherspoon last year, now this. They say it comes in threes. I ain’t sleepin’ for the next two years. pic.twitter.com/DURUAjFHrk
— George Wallace (@MrGeorgeWallace) May 19, 2021
R.I.P. to a true legend in comedy. Writing jokes for Richard Pryor, absolutely killing it with some thought provoking humor on Chappelle’s Show. There truly is no one like Paul Mooney. RIP Legend pic.twitter.com/MMXjrWzXnm
— Kenny Majid – A Kenny For Your Thoughts Podcast (@akfytwrestling) May 19, 2021
R.I.P. to the absolute master! – Paul Mooney. I learned so much from you.
— Bill Burr (@billburr) May 19, 2021
— Dr. Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) May 19, 2021