Sat November 30, 2013
Strange Fruit: 'Furious Cool' Co-Author David Henry on the Life of Richard Pryor
This week we spoke with David Henry, co-author of Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him, about Pryor's work, and why it was so groundbreaking. "He had this sort of vulnerability about himself that just made him irresistible," David says. "He didn't pull any punches."
Throughout their research for the book, David and his co-author (and brother) Joe Henry, learned about how Richard honed his craft, sometimes working the same comedy club every night for a week, each night with an improved version of the previous night's material.
We talked about Pryor's surprising comments on his sexual experiences with other men, his openness about his drug use, and why audiences of all races found him so relatable.
"When he was on stage by himself with just a microphone, he seemed to understand everything about being a human being," David said. "He seemed to have such a clear-eyed view of life, and seemed to understand how people work—in ways that he couldn't really apply to his own life when he was offstage."
[Note: As you might expect from an interview about Richard Pryor, there is some frank language in this interview!]
We also talked about Dayna Morales, the server who says a family left her a homophobic note instead of a tip. This week, the family in question came forward with their copy of the receipt which shows they did tip, and now Morales' story is suspected of being a hoax.
And of course, we couldn't resist puzzling over this week's bizarre TMI from Dr. Conrad Murray. Some things, we just didn't need to know.