Richard Pryor

Black Ben the Blacksmith

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Most of Richard Pryor's classic comedy recordings of the 70's (CRAPS, SUPERNIGGER, etc.) contained this legendary comedian's entire stage routine from beginning to end, making the listener feel as though he or she could have been an actual audience member that night. On 1978's BLACK BEN THE BLACKSMITH, Pryor's standup dialogue is edited in a way that doesn't quite flow as seamlessly as the aforementioned titles, but overall, he still manages to deliver another set of inspired and insightful comedy - especially on the title cut, "Dark Person," "Black Nationalist," and "Unemployment Line." BLACK BEN THE BLACKSMITH also proved to be one of the last comedy albums of his illustrious career, as Pryor suffered near-fatal burns from a drug-fueled suicide attempt shortly thereafter, eventually recovering and focusing more on his film career by the 80's (STIR CRAZY, THE TOY, SUPERMAN III, BREWSTER'S MILLIONS, etc.).

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