Saturday Night Live, Season 1: Episode 7
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 happenin’?”
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 applause.]
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.]