Legendary comedian Richard Pryor is widely regarded as one of the best comedians to ever tell a joke. Coming up in the comedy circuit during the 1960s allowed for Pryor to make audiences double over from laughter by making sharp criticisms of the arduous times America was going through during the Civil Rights Movement. He later went on to become a big box office draw with writing credits and roles in films like "Blazing Saddles," "Silver Streak," and "Stir Crazy."
Pryor was groundbreaking because he opened the door for comedians to use their personal tragedies as material for their acts. One of Pryor's main influences, Bill Cosby, said of him, "Richard Pryor drew the line between comedy and tragedy as thin as he could possibly paint."