The newest entry in a television documentary series focuses on the impact of legendary comedian Richard Pryor. The Paramount Network program “I Am Richard Pryor” will make its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival on Tuesday, March 12, and will debut on Paramount Network on Friday, March 15.
The project is the latest installment in Paramount Network’s “I Am” documentary franchise.
“‘I Am Richard Pryor’ explores and celebrates the life and career of the iconic comedian who lifted himself out of poverty to achieve worldwide success,” the network says in today’s announcement. “From his first comedy album until his death of a heart attack in 2005, the revolutionary stand-up comedian dispensed what critics regarded as the most poignant and penetrating comedic view of African-American life ever afforded to the U.S. at large. Volatile yet vulnerable, crass but sensitive, streetwise and cocky, Pryor did not simply tell stories, he brought them to life and was considered a trailblazer for generations of comics to come. The film explores his unusually personal art that was a window into a vulnerable soul, as well as the endless struggle to extend dignity and equality to all.”
“I Am Richard Pryor” includes exclusive interviews with comedians, filmmakers, family and friends including Sandra Bernhard, Ron De Blasio, Dr. Todd Boyd, Michael Epps, Tiffany Haddish, Henry Jaglom, Howie Mandel, Thom Mount, Ishmael Reed, Scott Saul, Michael Schultz, Greg Tate, Lily Tomlin, Rocco Urbisci, Jimmie Walker and Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Pryor.
The documentary, directed by Jesse James Miller, is the latest from Network Entertainment’s award-winning filmmaker Derik Murray, who has previously produced films on John F. Kennedy Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Heath Ledger, Bruce Lee, Paul Walker and Chris Farley.
“I Am Richard Pryor” is executive produced by Paul Gertz, Kent Wingerak and Jennifer Pryor. Paramount Network’s Jaimee Kosanke also is an executive producer.