Rain Pryor: My comedy differs from Dad's

Aug. 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM
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WOODSTOCK, N.Y., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Rain Pryor, doing a solo show at a Woodstock, N.Y., fringe arts event, says her comedy is different from that of her late comedian-actor father Richard Pryor.

"He was so loved in the comedic world," Pryor told The Baltimore Sun. "He's still called the King of Comedy by people in the field."

Richard Pryor, a stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and writer who died in 2005, was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues.

He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of his era.

Jerry Seinfeld told Newsweek he considered Pryor "the Picasso of our profession" and Bob Newhart told the PBS "American Masters" program: "When you take away the language, the ideas underneath the language are so rich. I think he's the seminal comedian of the last 50 years. I think he's influenced us all."

"My job is to respect his legacy as much as possible," Rain Pryor told the Sun in February. "I know some people are thinking, 'You're no Richard Pryor.' But I am not afraid of not doing well. And my comedy is so different from his."

Her solo show "Fried Chicken and Latkes," about growing up with a black father and a Jewish former go-go dancer mother, is to be performed at the 10th annual Woodstock Fringe Festival of Theater and Song Friday and Saturday and Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

"Growing up black and Jewish gives Rain a unique perspective on race, religion and spirituality," the festival said of the 70-minute autobiographical show, which looks at her friends, relatives and racial tormentors in the late 1960s and early 1970s -- and includes her re-enactment of jazz musician Miles Davis serenading her to sleep when she was a little girl.

"She most definitely is her own woman," The New York Times wrote last week in a review of the show, which is also in an open-ended run Off Broadway at The Actors' Temple. "But she sure does one hell of an impersonation of her dad."

The younger Pryor is artistic director of Baltimore's Strand Theater and a regular from 1988-1991 on the ABC-TV sitcom series "Head of the Class."

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