Richard Pryor, the Conedian

  • Alexi Kukuljevic
Part of the Performance Philosophy book series (PPH)


This chapter argues that Richard Pryor is not a comedian but a conedian and that he does not belong to humanity but to humaniry. Only by taking these two typos seriously, the author suggests, can one conceptualize Pryor’s comic singularity, think his monstrous hilarity. In the 1960s and 1970s Pryor forged a comic subjectivity whose humor seemed to be constantly on the point of combustion. The aim of this chapter is to exhibit this radicality through the construction of a theoretical portrait of his combustible comical substance. The author argues that Pryor engenders a subject that puts the form of humanity itself into question. The blackness of Pryor’s comedy addresses itself to the loss of this form.


Richard Pryor Stand-up comedy Blackness Anti-humanism Black humor Performance Subjectivity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexi Kukuljevic
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Applied Arts ViennaViennaAustria

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