Paul Mooney Officially Retires From Touring Stand Up Comedy!

Comedy News

According to our sources, we hear that comedian, writer, and producer Paul Mooney has officially retired from doing stand up comedy. While this shouldn’t be too much of a shock as Mooney is now 75 years old, it seems to shock most of those who thought he would never stop doing comedy until his last breath.

It should also be noted that his announcement is not health related (he was diagnosed with prostate cancer) as Mooney did have a couple of health scares a couple of years ago, but he recovered quickly- and quietly.

If you are not familiar with Mooney, he became a ringmaster with the Gatti-Charles Circus early on in his career. During his stint as ringmaster, he always found himself writing comedy and telling jokes, which would later help Mooney land his first professional work as a writer for Richard Pryor.

Mooney wrote some of Pryor’s routines for his appearance on Saturday Night Live, co-wrote his material for the Live on the Sunset Strip, Bicentennial Nigger, and Is It Something I Said albums, and Pryor’s film Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling. As the head writer for The Richard Pryor Show, he gave many young comics, such as Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Marsha Warfield, John Witherspoon, and Tim Reid, their first break into show business.

Mooney also wrote for Redd Foxx’s Sanford and Son, Good Times, acted in several cult classics including Which Way Is Up?, Bustin’ Loose, Hollywood Shuffle, and portrayed singer/songwriter Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story.

He was the head writer for the first year of Fox’s In Living Color, inspiring the character Homey D. Clown, played by Damon Wayans. Mooney later went on to play Wayans’ father in the Spike Lee film Bamboozled as the comedian Junebug.

Mooney initially appeared in the sketches “Ask a Black Dude” and “Mooney at the Movies” on Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show. He later appeared as Negrodamus, an African American version of Nostradamus. As Negrodamus, Mooney ad-libbed the “answers to life’s most unsolvable mysteries” such as “Why do white people love Wayne Brady?” (Answer: “Because Wayne Brady makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X.”) Mooney was planning to reprise his role as Negrodamus in the third season of the Chappelle’s Show, before Dave Chappelle left the show due to stress, and it ended suddenly.

Mooney also hosted the BET tribute to Black History Month titled 25 Most @#%! Moments in Black History. In this show, he narrated some of the most shameful incidents involving African Americans since 1980. The top 25 moments included incidents involving Marion Barry, Terrell Owens, Wilson Goode, Michael Jackson, Flavor Flav, Whitney Houston, and Tupac Shakur.

Mooney released his first book, the memoir Black is the New White several years ago and slowed down performing stand-up after his cancer diagnosis.

Our source tells us that Mooney will ONLY do special dates, but he will not be on tour anymore.


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