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Paul Mooney: The Godfather of Comedy (2012)

The venomous, no-holds-barred style of standup comedy legend Paul Mooney is on full display in this concert special that finds the vitriolic funnyman sparing no politician or pop culture ... See full summary »

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The venomous, no-holds-barred style of standup comedy legend Paul Mooney is on full display in this concert special that finds the vitriolic funnyman sparing no politician or pop culture icon from his scathing wit, including Sarah Palin, Mel Gibson and even golf pro Tiger Woods. Defiant, socially relevant, and always hilarious, it's a legendary Mooney performance.

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tv special | stand up comedy | See All (2) »

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3 February 2012 (USA)  »

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Paul Mooney: A Piece of My Mind  »

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One of the unfunniest shows I've ever seen
19 May 2014 | by (la) – See all my reviews

I've made my living as a stand up most of my adult life and met and watched Mooney in the early 90s in San Francisco. I only remember him as terribly unfunny off and on stage and really angry. Having just read a book on Richard Pryor and seeing that Mooney was a close friend, I thought I should give Mooney another look and found this show.

It was beyond awful. There is nary a funny line, joke, or observation. It reminded me of open mikes - where people who want to break into comedy get on stage and do 5 minutes - 99% of the time the new folks don't have anything funny yet. This was an hour of that, although I admit I only made it to about 35 minutes before I couldn't take it.

He's saying things and the crowd is going crazy. At first I thought it was creative editing because I assure you, he's isn't saying anything remotely funny. There are no punchlines or anything clever. "White people didn't care about Lincoln, they only put him on a penny." Um, okay (that was the only setup-punchline of the night by the way). Upon further viewing of the crowd, you do see sprinklings of people just sitting there (in between the people laughing their butts off) who were clearly as bored there in person as I was trying to watch this.

He makes up lots of crap like who's playing who in movies just so he can rip them, because clearly this guy hates white people. Now I'm white and I've never done anything to anyone. I never think of people by the color of their skin. Good thing this guy is around to set racism back 30 years. Everything is about how white people hate black people and want to put them down. It's amazing that people are laughing at this. Yes, there is racism. But this is a guy who says "black men, be proud of going to jail." Really? It's incredible how unfunny thing really is. And it's how I remember him from 20 years ago. And now you can see why this guy, who's been around for 50 years, never was a big star. He isn't funny. I was thinking how many of the people in the audience who was laughing their butts off went to work the next day and tried to relay what Mooney was saying to their friends and realized it wasn't remotely funny.

In the opening you see him on a radio show and they're listing all these amazing credits he has, all these TV shows he's written for - SNL, Richard Pryor show, Good Times, etc. He wrote ONE episode of SNL - when Pryor was on. No other before or since. The Richard Pryor show was SIX episodes, four aired. Outside Sanford and Son which he was a writer for, there are no other sitcoms listed in his IMDb page (nor did it mention any in the book I read). More exaggeration.

But when he started doing his observations (I just say observations because he's not doing material - material would be funny) on the OJ trial - I finally stopped. He's dead wrong about everything and this is a man on stage talking to many people ("Nicole was whore who was a drug addict and the guy who went over there, what was his name? He was delivering drugs - this was just a drug deal gone wrong" - Um, no, read a book, moron). I couldn't take it any more.

In the end, Mooney is a guy 99% of the general public has never heard of. And if you ask why, it's two reasons: 1. people don't want to hear about how racist they are. They don't want to some guy stuck in the 50s talking about terrible whitey putting down black people and 2. He ain't funny. For a guy who's been doing it for as long as he has, you'd think he'd have some funny stuff. Wasn't remotely funny in any shape or form.

This is a guy who never made it big who gets gigs like this simply because he's been around a long time. And don't get me wrong. I want him to be funny. I would sit through an hour of how racist the world is if there were actual funny observations or jokes. There weren't any.


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