Paul Mooney, who was comedian Richard Pryor’s longtime editorial partner, became well-known as an intelligent, barrier-breaking comic writer in his own right, building characters such as the all-seeing Negrodamus Dave Chappelle’s form comedy show, passed away on the 19th May at his home in Oakland, Calif. He was 79 & has departed from a heart attack TMZ has discovered.
According to his family, Paul died Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland. We’re told the paramedics they tried as much as they could to revive him after he experienced a heart attack. Mooney, who has been out of the public eye for some years, also had reportedly had dementia for some time and lingered with a family member. Though born in Louisiana, Paul traveled to Oakland and was bought up there. He got his origin in entertainment as a circus ringmaster, which directed him to tell and compose jokes. This led to his initial professional gig in the show industry as a writer for Pryor. The two would manage a working relationship for years to come. Moorey contributed to Richard’s fabulous stand-up performances like ”Live on the Sunset Strip.”
As said, the comedian was from Shreveport and began his career as a writer for Richard Pryor; thus, he even wrote for the sketch hit “In Living Color” and frequently appeared in dramas on Dave Chappelle’s Comedy Central show.
He performed the role of Sam Cooke in 1978’s “The Buddy Holly Story” and appeared in Spike Lee’s 2000 film “Bamboozled.” Tributes to Paul from the entertainment community issued on social media. Director Ava DuVernay wrote: “Paul Mooney. A comedy giant. I remember listening to his RACE album in college days and how impressionable it was. Yeah, the jokes. But more so, the freedom. He conversed freely and fearlessly about feelings and experiences others found hard to express. Now, may he be truly free. Rest, sir.”