SNL Transcripts: Richard Pryor: 12/13/75: Racist Word Association Interview

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75g: Richard Pryor / Gil Scott-Heron

Racist Word Association Interview

Written by: Paul Mooney

Interviewer…..Chevy Chase
Mr. Wilson…..Richard Pryor

Interviewer: Alright, Mr. Wilson, you’ve done just fine on the Rorshact.. your papers are in good order.. your file’s fine.. no difficulties with your motor skills.. And I think you’re probably ready for this job. We’ve got one more psychological test we always do here. It’s just a Word Association. I’ll throw you out a few words – anything that comes to your mind, just throw back at me, okay? It’s kind of an arbitrary thing. Like, if I say “dog”, you’d say..?

Mr. Wilson: “Tree”.

Interviewer: “Tree”. [ nods head, prepares the test papers ] “Dog”.

Mr. Wilson: “Tree”.

Interviewer: “Fast”.

Mr. Wilson: “Slow”.

Interviewer: “Rain”.

Mr. Wilson: “Snow”.

Interviewer: “White”.

Mr. Wilson: “Black”.

Interviewer: “Bean”.

Mr. Wilson: “Pod”.

Interviewer: [ casually ] “Negro”.

Mr. Wilson: “Whitey”.

Interviewer: “Tarbaby”.

Mr. Wilson: [ silent, sure he didn’t hear what he thinks he heard ] What’d you say?

Interviewer: [ repeating ] “Tarbaby”.

Mr. Wilson: “Ofay”.

Interviewer: “Colored”.

Mr. Wilson: “Redneck”.

Interviewer: “Junglebunny”.

Mr. Wilson: [ starting to get angry ] “Peckerwood!”

Interviewer: “Burrhead”.

Mr. Wilson: [ defensive ] “Cracker!”

Interviewer: [ aggressive ] “Spearchucker”.

Mr. Wilson: “White trash!

Interviewer: “Jungle Bunny!

Mr. Wilson: [ upset ] “Honky!”

Interviewer: “Spade!

Mr. Wilson: [ really upset ] “Honky Honky!

Interviewer: [ relentless ] “Nigger!”

Mr. Wilson: [ immediate ] “Dead honky!” [ face starts to flinch ]

Interviewer: [ quickly wraps the interview up ] Okay, Mr. Wilson, I think you’re qualified for this job. How about a starting salary of $5,000?

Mr. Wilson: Your momma!

Interviewer: [ fumbling ] Uh.. $7,500 a year?

Mr. Wilson: Your grandmomma!

Interviewer: [ desperate ] $15,000, Mr. Wilson. You’ll be the highest paid janitor in America. Just, don’t.. don’t hurt me, please..

Mr. Wilson: Okay.

Interviewer: [ relieved ] Okay.

Mr. Wilson: You want me to start now?

Interviewer: Oh, no, no.. that’s alright. I’ll clean all this up. Take a couple of weeks off, you look tired.

[ fade ]

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King has directed fourteen seasons of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him ten Emmys and fourteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for fifteen DGA Awards and won in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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