Paul Mooney dies at 79, see top 10 career highlights and contoversies

Paul “Mooney” Gladney is an American comedian and writer known for his work as a writer for comedian Richard Pryor. He died o a heart attack on 19 May 2021, aged 79, at his home in Oakland, California.

Why is he so popular? Here we look at the top ten career highlights and controversies that made Paul Mooney famous.


1. The comedian started his career as a ringmaster with the Gatti-Charles Circus, an American circus that has been operating for 50 years.

2. Mooney wrote many of Richard Pryor’s routines when he appeared as a guest host on the “Saturday Night Live” show and later as its first black host. He also co-wrote several other materials for Pryor including “Live on the Sunset Strip”, “Bicentennial Nigger”, “Is It Something I Said”, “Jo Jo Dancer”, and “Your Life Is Calling”. Additionally, he was the head writer for “The Richard Pryor Show”.

3. He also wrote “Sanford and Son” and “Good Times” for Redd Foxx and “In Living Color” for Fox.

4. Paul Mooney is credited for giving young Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Marsha Warfield, John Witherspoon, and Tim Reid their first break into the show business.

5. He acted in classics like “Which Way Is Up?” (1977), “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978), “Bustin’ Loose” (1981), “Hollywood Shuffle” (1987), and “Bamboozled” (2000).

6. Mooney appeared in the sketches “Ask a Black Dude” and “Mooney at the Movies” on Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show”. Also, he hosted the BET tribute to Black History Month titled “25 Most @#%! Moments in Black History”.

Paul Mooney dies at 79, see top 10 career highlights and contoversies

Also read: HBO Max releases “Friends: The Reunion” official trailer, see reactions


7. Paul Mooney allegedly raped Richard Pryor’s son, Richard Pryor Jr., when he was a child. The incident has been mentioned by the comedian’s former bodyguard Rashon Khan, Richard Pryor Jr. and Richard Pryor’s widow. Mooney was never convicted for the crime.

8. At the BET Comedy Awards in 2005, he jokingly presents an award to Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Lil’ Kim, and Diana Ross. He said the award was for African American celebrities who neglected their blackness to try and blend in with Caucasians. People who attended the show also said he made jokes about Ross’s 2002 arrest for DUI and her ex-husband’s death in 2004. The organisers had to edit most of his performance out before they aired it.

9. In 2006, Mooney said he will stop using the word “n---a” again because American comedian Michael Richards was caught using it in a racist rant at the Laugh Factory. However, he used it in a routine on O.J. Simpson the next month and had to briefly leave the stage with his hands covering his face.

10. Fives days after the Boston Marathon bombing, Mooney said during a performance at Levity Live in West Nyack, New York; “white people in Boston deserved what they got and (it was) OK to lose a few limbs… as long as no blacks got hurt it was OK.” Many people in the audience left the room, and the organisers cancelled the rest of the show.

Read more: Naomi Campbell welcomes first daughter at 50

Paul Mooney has appeared in a total of 30+ films and 10 TV shows. He also published a memoir in 2009 titled “Black Is the New White”. Following news of his death, see how many celebrities are mourning him:

Here is a clip celebrating one of his memorable acts:

You may also like to read our recent article Demi Lovato identifies as non-binary – See 5 things that you should know about non-binary persons.

Photo of author

About The Author


Obinna is a fiction writer from Lagos, Nigeria, and grew up loving comic book characters and superheroes. He watches lots of action films and writes entertainment and technology articles. He is also interested in science and how things work.

14 thoughts on “Paul Mooney dies at 79, see top 10 career highlights and contoversies”

  1. Pingback: ????????????????
  2. Pingback: Home
  3. Pingback: Devops companies
  4. Pingback: burnleyescorts
  5. Pingback: ???????????????
  6. Pingback: sbo

Leave a Comment


SidomexEntertainment is your one-stop-shop for news, entertainment, fashion, music, sports and lifestyle. We provide you with the latest breaking news and videos straight from the entertainment industry.

Follow Us
%d bloggers like this: