Thursday, August 10, 2000 By Dade Hayes
HOLLYWOOD - Comedian Richard Pryor will make a rare public appearance at Thursday night's premiere of MTV Films' The Original Kings of Comedy to accept a lifetime achievement award.
The stars of Lee's Original Kings of Comedy have counted Pryor among their comedic heroes.
Kings director Spike Lee and the picture's four stars will present Pryor with an MTV astronaut statuette dubbing him The Original King of Comedy during the event at the Paramount lot in Hollywood.
"It's been acknowledged by everyone involved in this film how influential Mr. Pryor has been in breaking down barriers for all comedians today," said David Gale, producer and senior VP at MTV Films.
In the past few years, Pryor has battled multiple sclerosis, the effects of which limit his ability to make public appearances. Nevertheless, he has recently seen his legacy boosted, receiving the Kennedy Center's inaugural Mark Twain Prize in 1998.
On Oct. 17, Rhino Records will release a nine-CD box set of the comedian's standup material.
The package will include all seven original Warner Bros. albums in their entirety, as well as one full disc of never before released material recorded during the 1970s, '80s and '90s.
Richard Pryor: Sand It's Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings, also contains a booklet with new quotes and testimonials from such stars as Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Willie Nelson and Chevy Chase. Liner notes are penned by novelist Walter Mosley.
The Original Kings of Comedy, set for an Aug. 18 release via Paramount,
features concert footage from Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer
and Bernie Mac.