Wilder and Pryor

Posted on by Elliott David

"Gene Wilder and I went to do a film at Arizona State Penitentiary. I was up there six weeks. It was strange, because it was 80% black people, and what’s strange about that is there are no black people in Arizona. I’m not lying, they bus motherfuckers in. I was up there and looking at all the brothers and it made my heart ache, all these beautiful black men in the joint, god damn warriors should be out there helping the masses. I felt that way, I was real naive. Six weeks I was up there, and I talk to the brothers, and I talk to ‘em. And thank god we got penitentiaries.

I asked this one, I said, ‘Why did you kill everybody in the house?’ He goes, ‘They was home.’ I mean, murderers. Real live murderers. I thought black people killed people by accident. No, these motherfuckers was murderers. 

Gene Wilder loved to jump in the middle of the killers and start talking. ‘Hi guys, how ya doin?’ I’d say, ‘Gene bring your ass out of there.’ He said, ‘What do you think they’d do to us if we were here, Rich?’ I said ‘Fuck us!’ And Gene said, ‘I’m not homosexual.’ I said, ‘Homosexual ain’t got nothin’ to do with it. They don’t fuck you ‘cause you like it. They fuck you just to see the look on your face.’”

-Richard Pryor, Live On The Sunset Strip, 1982.