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Black is the New White I liked it although it was about Pryor than Mooney, but perhaps that was the point Mooney describes the two as each others muses I envy that kind of personal and professional relationship that spans decades I m embarrassed to say I didn t know who Paul Mooney was until Dave Chappelle, but I copped Know Your History and I put two and two together with Bamboozled and I thought, Damn, this guy really is the man Mooney never censors himself and that s why I love him He lives to make white people uncomfortable I admire that All day Although I was disappointed by his un interrogation of his romantic relationship with a white woman, but this is where people misinterpret Mooney He doesn t hate white people as people, but he calls out white privilege wherever he sees it and since everything is personal to white people they can t see the difference and they can t deal with him I know he and Pryor faced racism than the doozies he describes in the book, but the point is not how the man held them back the point is how they refused to be compromised I wanted of his personal life even when he was talking about his personal history, but I definitely appreciated comedian histories and I definitely see Chappelle as Pryor and Murphy as the anti Cosby I haven t thought about black humor for a long time, and this book made me do that through the eyes of Mooney s career It s social history than it is personal history but worth the telling just the same. I brought this book after Paul Mooney spoke about it on a radio interview I had seen his face around before, but I never knew his name, or the like After seeing his clips on YouTube I was just bowled over I am not a big fan of comedy, but I do appreciate wit And that is Paul Mooney s true genius his mix of wisdom and wit that he interweaves in with stand up comedy It is truly not like anything I have seen, or heard before.This book is a goldmine of insight into the world of show biz in L.A in the 60s until the 80s Of course Mr Mooney tells it in a way that makes you chuckle but it really gets under your skin or it should anyway at how such talent is stifled simply because it makes the White establishment uncomfortable One of the most poignant phrases I took away from this book is Racism trumps capitalism which basically means that Hollywood would rather hold on to its racist ways then make money off of what Black people want to do on their own terms So sad, because here it is 2011, and we only have a few Black people yielding any sort of power in Hollywood like Tyler Perry, Oprah, etc but we are still so very, very behind.The common gripe regarding this book is that it focuses on Richard Pryor than Paul Mooney However I can understand this This book is about Paul s professional career really and the foundation of this career was Richard Pryor being a vessel through which Paul s work hit the mainstream Paul by himself was too threatening for 60s and 70s America Perhaps he was just born too early for his own good Then again, the combined force of him and Pryor were an invaluable gift to our culture So in this way, the focus of the book is very appropriate.The main reason why I don t give the book 5 stars is because of the flow of the book Yes, it is an easy read in that it is not a very long or wordy book But it also doesn t move chronologically and sometimes you lose track of what instance era Mr Mooney is referring to Maybe this is just the style of pop culture comedic writersbut it was a bit of a distraction I think that a skilled editor would or should have been able to give to book a better polish The content was thereit was just a bit underdone.Over all though, standing ovation for Mr Mooney You sir, are one of the people who make American culture so great Your voice and opinions are still very much needed and relevant I hope Mr Paul Mooney keeps at it for another 30 years Review originally appeared on ComicVsAudience.comThe fact that Paul Mooney is best known for segments on Chappelle s Show is sort of funny in a way, because as Mooney puts it, that show was merely passing the torch from what he did with his good friend Richard Pryor Quietly for decades, Mooney helped write some of Pryor s best stand up material in addition to the famous SNL sketch with Chevy Chase there s a funny story about that , Sanford And Son and The Richard Pryor Show.In fact, most of the book is about Pryor, who Mooney portrays as an almost child like man that is at the same time fueled and haunted by his childhood growing up in Peoria, Illnois as the son of a prostitute and a father that didn t like him very much A running theme throughout the book is that no matter how successful and famous he is, he consumes cocaine and alcohol at a rapid pace as if only that will make him happy According to Mooney, he wants nothing than to be famous, but at the same time is worried that he isn t keeping it real any Richard has a love hate thing with Hollywood, Mooney writes I just settle on hating it While there isn t exactly any new information about Pryor here, the book gives a glimpse into his mindset as his career progressed from the clean Cosby wannabe comic to the groundbreaking social comedian to the movie star to the man that set himself on fire while freebasing cocaine Pryor died in 2005 not of his extensive drug and alcohol use, but because of multiple sclerosis.Race is just as much a topic in this book as it is in Mooney s stand up material and He sees Hollywood as a place not as liberal as it makes itself out to be As he comes up as a stand up comic at the famed Comedy Store in the 70s which he helped unionize to force payment for performances , he sees his fellow comedians all get their big breaks in television and film, yet he never gets his I know that producers who pass me by are leaving millions of dollars on the table They say the profit motive is sacred, but it s not true Racism trumps capitalism Hollywood prefers to pass up a program that I know I can make a hit, rather than work with a proud black man like me I make them too nervous I freak them out No matter what the subject, there are plenty of great stories about Hollywood in the 60s and 70s and the Los Angeles comedy scene in this book that a fan of comedy will enjoy It s written like how Mooney speaks on stage, the place where I feel alive. Louise Penny in A trick of the Light makes the comment A sort of social neutron bomb Meant to keep the structure of polite conversation standing, while slaying the person In stand up comedy the neutron bomb is most often a sleaze bomb This book is one of them I adore humor, and I love comedy But some of it is just common crudeness disguised as jokes.Now reverse the blatant racism in this book, and see what happens The shoe just hates to be fitted to the other foot So NO, six chapters of it was enough.Do to others what you want to be done to yourself Sorry, won t stoop that low in this case. Anytime Paul Money tells stories it s gold, but this was a little underwhelming A good read, but not up to the hype I had given it. Paul Mooney is a socially conscience comedian He talks about social issues and race issues that are currently going on in the world While he makes it funny, it is no less true Paul Mooney is someone you not only have to read but also see in person Read 2010. Good read to distract me from daily life This story was really shocking because even in his own book Paul Mooney is behind the scenes The story revolves around Richard Pryor and the friendship he had with Mooney Through life similarities and shared frustrations Paul s story is revealed through Richards While I have never read a memoir in this format I actually like it Paul Mooney is yes, very angry and frustrated from the systemic racism that kept him behind the scenes until the late 1990 s However this memoir could have been a way to showcase all we don t know about him Instead he is behind the scenes even in the writing which leads me to believe that part of his anger in life is due to personality and not opportunity His personality is not for everyone to enjoy or understand but it truly is a gift Paul Mooney will forever be the God Father of Comedy whether folks want to acknowledge it or not This book teaches that it is not recognition that makes the legend rather it is talent, self awareness and passion. &Book ↻ Black Is the New White ☛ OTHER COMEDIANS TELL JOKES PAUL MOONEY TELLS THE TRUTH For Than Forty Years, Whether Writing For Richard Pryor And Saturday Night Live Or Performing Stand Up To Sold Out Crowds Around The Country, Paul Mooney Has Been Provocative, Incisive And Absolutely Hilarious His Comedy Has Always Been Indisputably Real And Raw, Reflecting Race Issues In America, And This Fascinating, Fearless New Memoir Continues That Unapologetically Candid Tradition While Other Stars Soared Only To Crash And Burn, Paul Mooney Has Stayed Chiefly Behind The Scenes, And He S Got A Lifetime Of Stories To Show For It As Head Writer For The Richard Pryor Show, He Helped Tear Down Racial Barriers And Change The Course Of Comedy He Helped Robin Williams And Sarah Bernhard Break Into Show Business He Paved The Way For Superstars Like Eddie Murphy Few Have Witnessed As Much Comedy History As Mooney Even Fewer Could Recount It With Such Riotous Honesty And Depth Of Insight He Reveals The Truth About His Celebrated Partnership With The Brilliant, Self Destructive Richard Pryor, From Their First Meeting To The Very Last Joke, And Reflects On Some Of His Most Notorious Moments Decades Ago, Paul Mooney Set Out Not Just Make Audiences Laugh But To Make Them Think Black Is The New White Is His Blisteringly Funny, No Holds Barred Memoir Of How He Continues To Succeed Wildly At Both I was overwhelmingly amused and entertained by Paul Mooney s memoir telling of his rise as a major icon in radical black culture, his life with his best friend Richard Pryor, and his own stature as a stand up comedy icon Mooney espouses a lot of opinions in this book I am not in agreement with, but even when his opinions are contrary to everything I believe, his reasoning why is always entertaining, and it is apparent Mooney stays honest to what he truly believes to a level that borders on mental illness Mooney talks openly and honestly about racial tensions in Hollywood, Pryor s prodigious drug use and overall self destructive behavior, and the infamous comedian s strike against Mitzi Shore of the Comedy Store in the 80s Mooney is a somewhat minor figure to many outside of the world of standup, but he is a legend to those who appreciate and recognize the dedication the craft demands Mooney isn t a smooth talker as he always chooses to just say the right thing for the moment Mooney is not just a great comic, he s an over flowing beacon of comedic history as well. Paul Mooney, a comedian and writer who created some of the 70s 80s edgiest racial bits, including bits for Richard Pryor, speaks all in his memoir.Admittedly, I had no idea who he was before this book Mooney jokes about being a complete unknown to white people , but I found myself drawn into his autobiography Mooney writes of his career, though the bulk of the book is his experiences with one of his best friends, Richard Pryor His humor is based off his immediate family which he developed into edgy material towards the end of the 1960s He meets Richard Pryor in the late 60s with whom he forms a close friendship until Pryor s death in 2005 I only knew one of his Mooney s most popular bits after he mentioned it, that being the Richard Pryor Chevy Chase interview word association skit from the first season of Saturday Night Live I found it to be an interesting read that was paced well While Mooney does tend to jump back and forth in his chronology, it doesn t really detract from the autobiography.