75g: Richard Pryor / Gil Scott-Heron
Richard Pryor's Monologue
Don Pardo: Ladies and gentlemen, Richard Pryor!
Richard Pryor: How you doin'? Thank you very much for
coming here to New York. Uh, hope I'm funny. I'd like
to dedicate this to, uh, show to Miles Davis, my
friend. He's in the hospital, sick. But he's cool.
Miles always gets women, though, 'cause he talks so
cool. You know, Miles go: [scratchy whisper] "What's
I get women, too. I can't keep 'em but I get 'em.
Women always leave me, man! I don't mind 'em leavin'
but they tell you why. You know what I mean? Just
leave! Don't tell me why! 'Cause there ain't nothin'
you can do but stand there and look silly, right? You
be ... [imitates a man standing there and looking
silly: points to himself in surprise, shrugs
helplessly, rolls his eyes, shakes his head in
disbelief] And the madder you get, women get cool when
you get mad. [as an angry man] "WELL, GO ON AND GET
OUT THEN!" [as a cool, calm woman] "I'm leaving." [as
the man] "I DON'T EVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!" [as the
woman] "Don't worry, you shan't."
Drive you to drink, jack, you know? I tried drinkin'
for a while but I used to go into bars and check out
the people that were drinkin' and they weren't happy.
And they get beat up a lot. No -- drunks, they start
out cool. Brother be cool at first and he goin':
[quiet, polite] "Give me a Scotch and soda, please."
Real cool. 'Bout a hour later: [instantly imitates a
drunk, yelling at a bartender to his right] "WHAT?!
WHAT YOU MEAN I'M DRUNK?! HUH? I wasn't drunk when I
came in here! And I ain't gonna leave till I'm sober.
Now, you can dig that, baby. Bartender?! Are you the
bartender? Give everybody in here somethin'. Give 'em
a beer. And twenty straws. Ha ha! Whoooo!" [applause,
Pryor turns to his left] "Hey! Huh? What you lookin'
at, bitch? What? No, I don't know what time it is.
It's time for you to stop messin' with me. That's what
time it is. I know I'm ugly but I don't look like no
clock. That's right, baby. [turns to his right] What?
What are you worried about? You the bartender. If I
say somethin' to this piece of wood, then you say
somethin'. Otherwise, you can freeze on your thing,
baby. You know, 'cause I'll bust you apart. Ha haaaa!
Whooo! [turns to his left, looks up] What you want,
big ol' dude? Apologize to who? For what? I don't care
if she your mama-- [suddenly falls to the floor and
tries to fend off blows with his arms as if being
punched and kicked by the big ol' dude] Hey, man! Wait
a minute, man! [rises] I'm just kiddin', man, baby.
What you doin'?! You done kick me in the ass, baby!
[feels his sore ass] You in a world o' trouble now!
No, don't hold him -- let him go, baby! Come on, you
want some of me? [puts his fists up to fight but is
instantly knocked to the floor, bounces back up again]
Wait a minute, man. I'm only kiddin' ya now."
[pretends to vomit all over himself noisily, much
That's why I don't drink so much. Take acid, either.
White dudes take acid. They do. They take acid and go
see "The Exorcist." They crazy. White dude gave me
some acid once at a party, too, jack. And I thought I
was crazy before I took it. It saned me right up. Dude
say: [nerdy white dude's voice] "This is far out." I
said, "What?" Says: [nerdy white dude's voice] "It's
far out." I took it, jack. [mimes taking the acid,
then as the white dude] "You're gonna be trippin'!"
'Bout twenty minutes later, I was at the party: "Hey,
blood, what's happenin'? [mimes one half of a complex
handshake for two brothers] Everything is cool. White
dude gave me some stuff I'm gonna be trippin'! You
know, I ain't goin' no place without my luggage.
Believe that. [runs his lips over his teeth, something
feels funny, he puts his left hand up to his face,
then starts waving it back and forth, his eyes riveted
to his hand, then he starts waving both hands around
in the air watching them intently] Look at this, man!
I can catch my hand! [eyes bug out, mouth opens wide,
a high-pitched squeal] Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! [suddenly
the squeal becomes low-pitched and Pryor starts moving
-- and talking -- in slow motion] Uh oh. I've got to
get out of here! [running in very slow motion across
home base, another high-pitched squeal] Whaaaaaaaa!
[suddenly stops, clutches his chest, in a normal but
panicked voice] I don't remember how to breathe! I
can't breathe! [opens mouth, bobs head] One, two,
three. Ain't nothin' happenin', man!" [nerdy white
dude's voice] "Told ya it was far out!"
[tripping again] "I'm gonna die! I don't even know who
I am, I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! I'm
gonna die! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna
die! I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die! [keeps repeating
"I'm gonna die!" over and over in an increasingly
funky rhythm and then starts dancing goofily to the
beat - it begins to sound like an auctioneer's chant -
abruptly, he stops and raises an arm triumphantly
while speaking gibberish that sounds vaguely like an
African tribesman - this segues into a brief
pseudo-native American chant - finally, Pryor flaps
his arms in slow motion as if about to fly away] What
- in - the - world - is - happening - to - me?!" [Much
applause. Pryor waves to the audience.]