Fresh Air for December 11, 2014 Hear the Fresh Air program for December 11, 2014

Comedian Richard Pryor, pictured in 1977, grew up in a brothel, surrounded by violence. "He said once that it's easier for him to talk about his life in front of 2,000 people than it is to do it one on one," says Scott Saul, whose new book is Becoming Richard Pryor. AP hide caption

toggle caption
AP

Author Interviews

Richard Pryor, A Comedy Pioneer Who Was 'Always Whittling On Dynamite'

Scott Saul's new book, Becoming Richard Pryor, describes how Pryor went from being raised by a grandmother, who was a bootlegger and madam, to being a transformative figure in entertainment.

Comedian Richard Pryor, pictured in 1977, grew up in a brothel, surrounded by violence. "He said once that it's easier for him to talk about his life in front of 2,000 people than it is to do it one on one," says Scott Saul, whose new book is Becoming Richard Pryor. AP hide caption

toggle caption
AP

Richard Pryor, A Comedy Pioneer Who Was 'Always Whittling On Dynamite'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/369641000/370132310" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Groovy Gravy Bill Cosby & Quincy Jones
Apache Incredible Bongo Band
Preservation Aesop Rock & Del the Funky Homosapien
Monty, Is That You? Bill Cosby & Quincy Jones
Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) Marvin Gaye
Christmas Time Is Here Warren Wolf
Everything's Coming Up Roses Rosemary Clooney