Friday, January 07, 2011

Paul Mooney

Ok, I'm going to do a risky blog today, so if words like "nigger" and "fuck" offend you, just skip this.

Anyway, I LOVE Paul Mooney!!! The more I find out about him, the more I think he's a fantastic comedian. He was a primary writer and friend of Richard Pryor, but has since branched out into his own comedy which is very hardcore, especially if you are a sensitive white person.

The first time I heard or heard of Paul Mooney (no, it's not the late actor Paul Muni), was on a cassette tape of his first album "Race" that was sent to KBHK-TV 44 with a press release. My manager at the time didn't think much of it and gave me the tape saying, "Here, you like comedy".

I played the tape and was fascinated. Here was a black man telling it like it is. The CD is now quite collectible, but Mooney lets nigger freely fly and points out why. It's an uncomfortable word for most people nowadays. What's interesting is that if George Carlin did his "Seven Words You Can't Say On Television" bit, he could probably remove "piss" and "tits" from the list, but you would have to add "nigger" to it, as some people deem it a worse word to say or use than "fuck", nowadays.

Interestingly, they have recently removed "nigger" to some copies of "Huckleberry Finn" in order to make the book more palatable for high schools. They replaced the word with "slave". Will the same fate befall on Mooney's comedy? God, I hope not!

One of my favorite segments is when Mooney complains about The California Raisins and how they started making commercials with Ray Charles and with Michael Jackson. "They've gone nigger fuckin' raisin crazy!" Then he goes on and says about white people, "If they took some marshmallows and put some arms and legs on them and had them sing "Surfin' USA", you wouldn't think it was so goddamned funny!"

It's all harsh, but as Mooney says repeatedly, "It's real".

Mooney did a sequel CD called "Master Piece". While it too is funny, I don't like it as much, but not because of Mooney's comedy per se, it's just that there's a little too much about O.J. Simpson, which makes it very dated today. I think over half the album was on O.J., which admittedly was the biggest news at the time of the albums original release in 1994. He does, however do some great material about Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey.

Mooney has since switched to DVDs. I haven't seen all of these, admittedly. The most recent item I have seen of Mooney was his "Ask a Black Man" and "Negrodomus" segments on the late, great "Dave Chappelle Show". Though not as funny as his typical material, it's still quite poignant.

Anyway, if you are not squeamish about hearing a different point of view, and can handle vulgar words, check Mooney out.

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