Television shows

7 TV shows you didn’t know Paul Mooney wrote about

We are sad to announce that actor and comedy writer Paul Mooney passed away today of a heart attack. He was 79 years old.

Often referred to as “The Godfather of Comedy,” Mooney was best known for his work with fellow comedian Richard Pryor. The two met in 1968 and remained close friends until Pryor’s death in 2005. Together they worked on material that often focused on racism when it was not popular. “Everyone finally caught up with me,” Mooney told the Washington post in 2012. “When I did it, it wasn’t popular. I was considered a troublemaker. Now they’ve all caught up with me. Now that’s the popular thing. Hollywood acts like it’s the first time we’ve heard this.

During a 2010 Pop matters interview, Mooney is also said to have been “one of the first black writers to break into television and film in the early 1970s”. He responded by saying he was “like ET” and at the time of his rise that there were “no black comedy writers”. He has worked with major figures in black comedy including Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle.

In addition, he has been called upon to rewrite scripts. When designing fridays, a Saturday Night LiveA style show on ABC from the early 1980s, Pryor brought in Mooney to add touches to the original writing of the first episode. “Richard would always make me rewrite s—” Mooney said during the Pop matters conversation. “This is why the first [episode of Fridays] is so funny. He then added that he did not have to request this kind of concerts because his reputation as a writer preceded him.

We’ve rounded up some of the shows Paul Mooney wrote for during his 40-plus-year career. Keep scrolling to see everything he’s been working on.


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