This Week on Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend: Richard Pryor | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

This Week on Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend: Richard Pryor

23 February 2015

This Week on Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend: Richard Pryor’s Widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, Opens Up About Her Tumultuous Relationship With The Comedy Icon, The Development Of His Biopic Movie, And Her Thoughts On Bill Cosby

If there is one word that can sum up Alison Rosen’s interview with Jennifer Lee Pryor, the widow of comedy legend Richard Pryor, on Monday’s Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend, it’s divulgence. And lots of it.

Richard Pryor lived a life of never-ending chaos. There was heavy drug addiction, domestic violence, infidelity, a suicide attempt, psychotic episodes, and comedy show biz success and wealth to a degree that was unprecedented before his coming. There is only one person who knew him better than anyone, who was there to witness firsthand the unfathomable craziness that was legend Richard Pryor’s life. His widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, bared all to respected journalist and podcaster Alison Rosen.

Alison recently watched the documentary Omit The Logic, a film about Richard Pryor’s life. She told Jennifer Lee Pryor, “I loved it. It was riveting, and so emotional. It really captured the pathos of his life and the vulnerability and chaos. (0:02:07)”

Jennifer responded “Can you imagine what it was like living with him? (0:02:38)”

She spent the next 90 minutes painting a rousing portrait for the listeners. It seemed no detail was too personal.

Alison asked, “Were you ever afraid of him? (0:13:48)”

“Yes, not often, but he never made idle threats. For instance, I was there when he lit himself on fire. He was in a drug psychosis. He was not safe to be around (0:13:50)… [A couple times] he wanted to kill me. He said ‘You’re going to die. My life is over and you’re going to go with me.’ (0:15:37)”

A biopic film about Richard Pryor’s life has been in development for nearly 20 years now. Jennifer announced, at long last, that filming will begin in July 2015. Many A-list names are involved with the project.

“Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) is directing, Mike Epps is playing Richard Pryor, Kate Hudson is going to play me, and Oprah is going to play Richard’s grandmother. (0:36:35)”

Jennifer pronounced her upmost confidence in Lee Daniel’s ability to tell Richard’s story.

“Lee is the one to do it. Look at his body of work, look at Precious… the baggage that Richard had carried through his life, someone like Lee is the one to understand that. To really be able to wrestle that to the ground and get a handle on it creatively and turn it into something that is accessible…that’s a hard bill to fill, but I have great faith in Lee. (0:37:19)”

It is clear throughout the interview that Jennifer Lee Pryor is someone who never wavers in her comfortability with being transparent and speaking her truth on all matters. This includes her thoughts on Bill Cosby, who ran in the same social circles as the Pryors.

“Richard was dirty on the outside, but he was a good person on the inside. Bill hated Richard because he ‘worked dirty’. Bill’s just a fucking hypocrite, he’s dirty on the inside. It was a well-kept secret that Bill fucked everything that moved. This kind of shit that we’re finding out about now though… I wasn’t aware of this kind of business. He’s a piece of shit. (1:00:10)”

While Jennifer has no problem showing her rough edges, she also readily shows a more tender side, especially when talking about the man she loved more than anything in the world. When asked “What do you miss most about him?”, Jennifer’s response brought tears to Alison’s eyes.

“Everything. I’m very sad he’s not on this planet anymore. Richard saw me, and when someone sees you, that’s an incredible thing. Being seen and known and felt, it’s what love is. (1:15:13)”

Richard Pryor: Omit The Logic (Exec produced by Jennifer Lee Pryor) is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend Podcast is released three times weekly on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Download on iTunes, Sound Cloud, Stitcher, or at Alison Rosen.Com. ARIYNBF (for short) is the top-rated female comedy podcast on iTunes. Listenership skyrocketed after her recent controversial firing from co-hosting The Adam Carolla Show podcast.