CBSN

Remembering Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor at the 15th Annual American Comedy Awards held at Universal Studios, Los Angeles, Ca., Sunday, April 22, 2001. The show will be airing on Comedy Central, Wednesday, April 25, 8 P.M. (ET/PT). Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
GETTY
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
The tributes to Richard Pryor have been pouring in. The great comedian died this past weekend after years of failing health.

Pryor first came on my radar in the 1970s. With album titles I can't repeat on radio, Pryor painted outrageous and hilarious scenarios that were scream out loud funny. I remember feeling like I was part of a cult.

Not everyone found Pryor so amusing. Pryor was fearless — or so it seemed. His famous word association standoff with Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live was groundbreaking. His use of profanity, of the "n" word was unheard of.

Pryor said, "As a black man, as an entertainer, take me as I am; not how you want me to be." We couldn't get enough.


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith