Richard Pryor revolutionized standup comedy in the 1970s by offering uncompromising commentaries on controversial topics like racism and drugs like marijuana. And without his knack for encouraging people to talk about social taboos, the cannabis legalization movement might not have advanced as far as it has over the last 50 years.
But what would the comedian - who was born 76 years ago today - think about states like Colorado and California legalizing recreational cannabis use? Unfortunately, we can't ask him because he died of a heart attack back in 2005. But his daughter - and fellow comedian - Rain Pryor weighed in on the issue back in 2014. According to her, Richard Pryor would support legalization.
"He would be fine with it," she told The Denver Post. "And if he wasn't, I wouldn't be doing an event like this," she added. At the time, she was gearing up for a cannabis-friendly standup set in Colorado.
She added that de-stigmatizing cannabis was a matter of racial social justice for people of color, which were prominent themes in her father's comedy as well as her own.
But Richard Pryor was first and foremost an entertainer, so we'd be remiss to overlook the fact that he often told pot jokes just for the sake of giving people a good laugh. And one of his funniest moments was the infamous cannabis salad scene from Stir Crazy (1980) - his second collaboration with fellow comedy legend Gene Wilder.
Pryor played a waiter who gets fired when he accidentally gets a high society lunch even higher. One of the kitchen staff mistakes his stash for oregano and heaps generous portions of a high-powered strain called "African Gunjee 65" into their salad, soup and entrees.
"This [strain] is mean," Pryor's character warns the kitchen right before the pot cuisine kicks in. "One joint of this put southern California to sleep back in '65. Did you know there was a revolution in '65? We went to sleep and missed it because of this. This is mean. This is bad. And you done just spread it over everything!"
Check out the aftermath of the accidental edibles in this clip.
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