Paul Mooney co-wrote two episodes of Sanford and Son with Richard Pryor during the show's second season.
|Born:||August 4, 1941|
|Birthplace:||Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.|
|Sanford and Son'|
|Episodes appeared in:||Co-wrote "The Dowry" and "Sanford and Son and Sister Makes Three" in Season 2 with Richard Pryor|
|Character(s) played:||None; served as writer for 2 episodes, with an additional story credit for 1 episode|
Comedian Paul Mooney (born August 4, 1941) co-wrote two episodes of Sanford and Son, The Dowry (Season 2, episode #3), and Sanford and Son and Sister Makes Three (Season 2, episode #11) with longtime friend and fellow comedian/actor Richard Pryor. A controversial, but brilliantly talented stand-up comedian, like Pryor, Mooney gained a following during the late 1960's - early 1970's as a new wave of comics such as himself, Pryor, and Dick Gregory, and George Carlin began to test the waters and push the boundaries of what was once considered too hot to touch in stand-up comedy, tackling the subjects of racism, war, sex, the drug and counterculture and religion, while keeping fans in stitches with their onstage presences. Paul, like his longtime friend Pryor, has worn several entertainment hats as a talented comedian, comedy sketchwriter, social critic, and television and film actor. He was also featured on the TruTV reality show, Ma's Roadhouse.
Mooney was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and moved to Oakland, California seven years later. His parents are George Gladney and LaVoya Ealy. Mooney was raised primarily by his grandmother Aimay Ealy, known among the family as "Mama." Mama coined the nickname Mooney, but never explained to him the meaning or inspiration of the name.
Mooney became a circus ringmaster with the Gatti-Charles Circus. During his stint as ringmaster, he always found himself writing comedy and telling jokes, which would later help Mooney land his first professional work as a writer for Richard Pryor.
Mooney wrote some of Pryor's routines for his appearance on NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live, co-wrote his material for the Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, Bicentennial Nigger, and ...Is It Something I Said? albums, and Pryor's film Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling. As the head writer for The Richard Pryor Show, he gave many young Stand-up comedy|stand-up comics, such as Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Marsha Warfield, John Witherspoon, and Tim Reid, their first break into show business.
Mooney also wrote for Redd Foxx's Sanford and Son, Good Times, acted in several cult classics including Which Way Is Up?, Bustin' Loose, Hollywood Shuffle, and portrayed singer/songwriter Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story.
He was the head writer for the first year of the Fox-TV network's In Living Color program, creating the character Homey D. Clown, masterfully played by comedian/actor Damon Wayans. Mooney later went on to play Wayans' father in the Spike Lee film Bamboozled as the comedian Junebug.
Paul Mooney initially appeared in the sketches "Ask a Black Dude" and "Mooney at the Movies" on Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show. He later appeared as Negrodamus, an African American version of Nostradamus. As Negrodamus, Mooney ad-libbed the "answers to life's most unsolvable mysteries" such as "Why do white people love Wayne Brady?" (Answer: "Because Wayne Brady makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X.") Mooney was planning to reprise his role as Negrodamus in the third season of the Chappelle's Show, before it was canceled.
In 2006, Paul Mooney hosted the BET network tribute to Black History Month titled 25 Most @#%! Moments in Black History. In this show, he narrated some of the most shameful incidents involving African Americans since 1980. The top 25 moments included incidents involving Marion Barry, Terrell Owens, Wilson Goode, Michael Jackson, Flavor Flav, Whitney Houston, and Tupac Shakur amongst others.
Much of Mooney's material is based on the subject or racism in the United States which disturbs some audience members. Such incidents can be heard on Mooney's comedy albums Race and Master Piece and seen in his DVD Know Your History: Jesus Is Black; So Was Cleopatra.
BET Comedy Awards
In September 2005, Mooney performed a segment at the 2005 BET Comedy Awards called the "Nigga Wake Up Call Award", in which he jokingly presents an award to African American celebrities who have had well-publicized legal troubles. The "nominees" included Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Lil' Kim and Diana Ross. Mooney awarded Ross and made numerous jokes about Ross' 2002 arrest for DUI. According to people who were in attendance, Mooney also made light of the death of Ross' ex-husband Arne Næss Jr., who fell while mountain climbing in 2004. Tracee Ellis Ross, Ross's daughter and Næss's stepdaughter, was also in attendance. She reportedly was so offended and embarrassed that she left the room and was comforted by host Steve Harvey. Backstage in the press room, Mooney was asked if he felt his performance was "over the top". Mooney replied: "How can somebody get arrested for (being under the influence) and go to jail and I be over the top? I think that's over the top, don't you? Agree or disagree, folks. No, comedy is not over the top. When you are a celebrity and you do crazy stuff, that's the game."
- Paul Mooney at Movies.NYTimes.com, published by The New York Times, accessed, October 20, 2012.
- Black is the New White, 2009, Simon Spotlight Entertainment ISBN 978-1-4165-8795-8, pp. 36, 44.
- Black is the New White, Simon Spotlight Entertainment, ISBN 978-1-4165-8795-8, Page 49, 2009, by Paul Mooney, Quote: "I see LaVoya, my real mother, more than I ever did in Shreveport. My father George Gladney stayed in Shreveport and faded out of my life".
- Black is the New White, 2009, Simon Spotlight Entertainment, ISBN 978-1-4165-8795-8, Page 37.
- Black is the New White, by Paul Mooney, 2009, Simon Spotlight Entertainment, ISBN 978-1-4165-8795-8.
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