by Paradise Freejahlove Supreme
Paul Mooney was the Final Warrior, the final word warrior of comedy and the best comic of all time! Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle could also be simply as humorous or funnier however, from 1964 to 2021, Paul Mooney was additionally an actor, a mannequin, a expertise scout, a movie director, a one man college for up and coming comics and established ones, a humorist with unbelievable improvisational expertise, a champion of Black folks and a author for televisions reveals and nice comedians like Good Instances, Sanford and Son, In Residing Coloration, the Chappelle Present (Negrodamus), the Richard Pryor Present, Saturday Evening Dwell, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle, Chevy Chase, Homey D. Clown (“Homey don’t play that!”), Lunelle, Sandra Bernhard and too many others to call on this column!
And, within the stomach of the beast and a rustic which as soon as registered 60 million Klan members, Paul Mooney took on racism and white racists with a hilarity and a moxie that was astounding! Which regularly made him underrated, ostracized and ignored.
Different nice comedians who admired him however wouldn’t dare do his easy materials would come to his reveals incognito (or incognegro) as a result of he was that nice and superior, however they might conceal within the shadows as a result of they didn’t even wish to danger being considered a supporter! Regardless that no one has a physique of labor, a long life or legacy as he does.
Nor has another artificial America snort like he did – though, as a result of he wrote and shared a lot materials with others, they didn’t understand it was his jokes and humorousness they had been laughing at! And now he’s gone!
Born Paul Gladney, in Shreveport, La., in 1941, Paul was nicknamed “Muni” by his grandmother Aimay Ealy, who Paul declared was the funniest particular person he ever knew and the supply of his humorousness. So, Paul would later tackle the stage title Paul Mooney in her honor.
Paul would transfer to Oakland, Calif., in 1948 together with his mother and father George and LaVoya Gladney, the place he later attended and graduated from the legendary Berkeley Excessive College and developed his chops within the Bay Space, earlier than “shifting on up” – career-wise – to Hollywood. There, he would grow to be nice buddies and greatest buddies with the up-and-coming comic Richard Pryor.
Paul would later convey Pryor to the Bay Space as a result of Richard was struggling together with his id and doing Invoice Cosby and Flip Wilson-like materials. When Pryor got here to the extra gritty, blue collar, scholarly, revolutionary, better Oakland-San Francisco Bay Space – with its Black Panthers and Flower Kids and poets and the Black Home (theater) and Black intellectuals and authors – Richard Pryor discovered himself, discovered his voice, determined to be himself and inform his story!
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the Blackest of all of them?
So with out Paul Mooney, there could have been no Richard Pryor! If Richard Pryor was flashy and electrical like Michael Jackson, Paul Mooney was epic like Prince. If Richard Pryor was Mozart, Paul Mooney was Bach. If Richard Pryor was Thelonious Monk, Paul Mooney was Duke Ellington. If Richard Pryor was Charlie “Chicken” Parker, Paul Mooney was John Coltrane.
However why evaluate apples and oranges? We had been lucky sufficient to have what Windfall blessed us with: each!
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the Blackest of all of them? The Black Panthers would typically plead to Jimi Hendrix to incorporate extra Blackness in his music and presentation. However they might by no means need to say something like that to Paul Mooney! Mooney was the Black Panther of comedy! He astounded folks just like the Final Poets!
He liked his folks. And he lived and died for his folks. Not for our sins, however for our wins. He was an important Black Sentinel who appeared out for the well-being of Black people. For instance, by an episode of the tv sitcom, Sanford and Son, his writing spoke by Fred Sanford about systemic racism when the choose tried to talk of equality within the courtroom. Fred, seeing no white folks being tried – simply us – rebuked: “Have a look at all these niggas in right here! It’s sufficient niggas in right here to start out a Tarzan film!”
Mooney spoke from the guts about representing: “I take into consideration by no means dropping my voice, by no means giving in, by no means promoting out, all the time protecting it Black, all the time sticking to the road. Staying neighborhood and never Hollywood.”
So yearly, at the least since 2009, throughout the previous couple of weeks of the 12 months, he would maintain a comedy state of the nation deal with for Black folks – in da hood – on the Black Repertory Theater in Berkeley, the place he would typically sum up the 12 months and in addition introduce new materials.
I keep in mind a Rasta brother as soon as advised me he missed going to see Bob Marley dwell in live performance for the primary time, as a result of he acted like a smart man and determined to make use of the cash for the live performance to purchase a bag of weed and take heed to his Marley albums as a substitute. Sadly for him, Marley would quickly thereafter die of most cancers, and he would by no means get one other probability to see Marley carry out. So, I went to as many Paul Mooney reveals on the Black Rep as I may afford!
Paul Mooney was a magician. He had the uncanny potential of constructing white folks disappear!
The Comedy Maestro of White America was additionally Godfather of the Black Pack, who, together with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Corridor – who would later star in “Coming to America” – Keenen Ivory Wayans, Robert Townsend, Paul Allen and different brothers, produced collectively and appeared out for one another in Hollywood’s “Jackal and Hyde” infested circles.
Paul Mooney was a magician. He had the uncanny potential of constructing white folks disappear! As a result of his commentary about White America was so blunt, cruel and on level and sometimes about racism and white privilege, white folks had been infamous for strolling out on Mooney’s stand-up comedy routines. After which, Paul would triumphantly proclaim, “I nonetheless received the magic!” and “White folks wish to snort at everyone however themselves.”
I feel the principle downside white folks had with Paul Mooney’s comedy is that they’ve purchased into the parable of their whiteness and white privilege, which Mooney known as “the complexion for the safety and the gathering.”
“What’s incorrect with them? White folks all the time making an attempt to coach sh*t!” – lions, tigers, bears, dolphins, Practice yo’ *&***&&^% youngsters! Get ‘em to cease being haters and mass murderers!”
“In case your hair is relaxed, white persons are relaxed. In case your hair is nappy, they’re not joyful.” “White persons are excellent at appearing like they’re not racist. They deserve an Academy Award for that.” “White folks be like, ‘God bless America! And screw everyone else!’”
On Wednesday, Could 19 – the birthday of one other final warrior, Malcolm X – Paul Mooney, 79, joined the ancestors. And I’m certain he’s in a comedy paradise together with his buddies, Richard Pryor, Redd Foxx and Dick Gregory.
And I’m very proud to say that his last resting place and metropolis of departure from this earth was Oakland, California! Paul Mooney, my good brother, hilarious comic, and fearless truthsayer: Could you relaxation in peace, rise in energy and reside in paradise.
“I’m just like the Davy Crockett of comedy … after Davy Crockett opened up the West and helped everyone … they didn’t want him anymore. I freed quite a lot of comics … if I by no means would have carried out comedy, it could’ve been a unique artwork type … I’m certain of it.”
“I may drop lifeless tomorrow; the reality will nonetheless be right here. The reality is ceaselessly; if you learn our historical past, reality is ceaselessly and it all the time outs itself.”
Paradise is president of the Worldwide Black Writers and Artists, was honored together with his personal day, Oct. 6, by the town of Oakland, and could also be heard acting at True Vibe Records Presents, trueviberecords.com. Discover him on Fb at Paradise Freejahlove Supreme.