“Helloooo … goodbye”

As long as you’re watching all those scary movies as Halloween draws near, enjoy Richard Pryor’s take on “The Exorcist.”

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“Exorcist,” Richard Pryor, from “That Nigger’s Crazy,” 1974.

It was recorded live at Don Cornelius’ Soul Train nightclub in San Francisco in early 1974. The LP is out of print, but seven of its 11 cuts are on “The Anthology: 1968-1992,” a double CD released in 2002.

This cut is barely 2 minutes long, yet Pryor creates a completely new film, turning “The Exorcist” onto its spinning head.

He’d done the same to Westerns when he helped write “Blazing Saddles” in 1973. Wonder what that film would have been like had Pryor been cast as the sheriff, as director Mel Brooks intended, instead of Cleavon Little. That said, I can’t see anyone but Little as the sheriff.

I’ve seen “Blazing Saddles” dozens of times.

I’ve never seen “The Exorcist.” I think I’d enjoy Pryor’s version more.

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1 Comment

Filed under October 2009, Sounds

One response to ““Helloooo … goodbye”

  1. whiteray

    From the vantage point of 35 years later, the album’s title is jarring, isn’t it? I know Pryor was making a point, but I think it’s a point that couldn’t be made these days. I was watching a DVD of a 1981 episode of “Hill Street Blues” the other evening, and the same jarring word – I can’t even bring myself to type it here! – was in the script to make a point, and it was amazingly startling. Times have changed . . .

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