“You never knew what was going to happen because…he was Richard Pryor.”

Fifteen years after Richard Pryor’s death (Dec. 10, 2005), we are getting a new look into the life of the one man every black comedian (hell, every comedian period) cites as their inspiration.

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In an exclusive debut trailer obtained by The Root, fellow entertainers such as Howie Mandel, Tim Reid, Mike Epps (who was initially rumored to portray the legendary comedian in a biopic), Tim Allen and Jimmie Walker reminisce about a true game-changer in the industry who gave not nary a fuck about what people thought about his controversial approach to comedy. The documentary will also touch on Pryor’s personal life, including his multiple marriages and drug addiction.

Per ABC’s press release:

Richard Pryor is best known for his trailblazing comedy which served as an inspiration to generations. Almost 15 years after his death, ABC News presents a two-hour television event on his life and legacy. The special includes excerpts from Barbara Walters’ interviews with Pryor, some of them never-before-seen, during which he talks about his complicated childhood, growing up in a brothel and what drove his success. The program also reports on Pryor’s career and groundbreaking work that showcased the world of black America through the lens of stand-up comedy. Told through the eyes of those close to Pryor, the special features new interviews with his widow, Jennifer Pryor, and comedians and actors who worked with him.

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“Whatever you feel about me, when you see me right now, it’s the truth and don’t you ever forget it. Just look at me with your heart, that’s all I ask,” Pryor can be heard saying in the trailer. Word.

The Last Days of Richard Pryor airs Thursday, Jan. 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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