Paul Mooney, the legendary comedian, actor and former writer for Richard Pryor, has died at the age of 79, according to reports.
Variety reported the news on Wednesday, reporting that Mooney died at his home in Oakland, California early Wednesday morning. CNN’s Roland Martin reported that Mooney passed after suffering a heart attack. Paul Mooney’s official Twitter account posted this message:
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
Mooney’s friendship and collaboration with Pryor began in 1968 and lasted until Pryor’s death in 2005. Together, they confronted racism perhaps more directly than it ever had been before onstage. Mooney chronicled their partnership in his 2007 memoir “Black Is the New White.”
Mooney wasn’t as widely known as Pryor, but his influence on comedy was ubiquitous. As head writer on “In Living Color,” Mooney helped create and inspire the Homey D. Clown character. He played the future-foretelling Negrodamus on “Chappelle’s Show.”
Mooney was also an actor who played Sam Cooke in 1978′s “The Buddy Holly Story” and Junebug in Spike Lee’s 2000 film “Bamboozled.”
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