Paul Mooney, the iconic comic writer and Actor, has recently died, his rep, Cassandra Williams, told The Hollywood Reporter. He was only 79. Mooney died of a heart attack early Wednesday at 5:30 a.m. at his home in Oakland, California.
“Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts …you’re all are the best!…… Mooney World .. The Godfather of Comedy – ONE MOON MANY STARS! .. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks,” Mooney’s family posted on his Twitter account Wednesday morning.
Excellent at performing his material, the icon was famously known for being a writer for Richard Pryor. Mooney became a part of a whole new generation of fans when he appeared on Chappelle’s Show multiple times, including the classic segment, “Ask a Black Dude.” Mooney has Multiple film credits, including playing the legendary role of Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story (1978).
“We are deeply saddened, and our hearts are broken by the news of the passing of @PaulEalyMooney. He was a staple of our industry, godfather to many of our careers, and a founding father of standup comedy as we know it. He will be truly missed. Make God Laugh, Paul,” Los Angeles’ comedy landmark, The Laugh Factory, wrote on Twitter.
Paul Gladney Mooney was born in 1941 in Shreveport, Louisiana. After discovering he was great at being funny and writing, Mooney decided to move to Hollywood, where he would flourish and expand as a writer for such classic TV programs that we know well today, such as Sanford and Son and Good Times. Mooney also wrote several traditional routines Pryor performed for his iconic albums, including Live on the Sunset Strip and Is It Something I Said. Mooney was also the star writer on the short-lived but classic, The Richard Pryor Show. He also had a short part as a writer on In Living Color.
Chappelle, on Wednesday afternoon, told TMZ, “I want to shout out every comedian on Earth, the best whoever did it, paved the way today, his legacy will live forever. He did everything from The Richard Pryor Show to Chappelle’s Show. He’s one of the first Black people ever in the Writers Guild. Paul Mooney will be sorely missed and widely remembered. I’ll see to that.”