OAKLAND (CBS SF/AP) — Paul Mooney, a boundary-pushing comedian who was Richard Pryor’s longtime writing partner and whose sage, incisive musings on racism and American life made him a revered figure in stand-up, has died at his Oakland home. He was 79.
Cassandra Williams, Mooney’s publicist, said he died Wednesday morning from a heart attack.READ MORE: Gas Leak In San Francisco's Inner Richmond Prompts Shelter-In-Place
Mooney’s friendship and collaboration with Pryor began in 1968 and lasted until Pryor’s death in 2005. Together, they confronted racism perhaps more directly than it ever had been before onstage. Mooney chronicled their partnership in his 2007 memoir “Black Is the New White.”READ MORE: Newsom Signs Executive Order On Workplace Pandemic, Mask Rules Following Cal/OSHA Vote
Mooney wasn’t as widely known as Pryor, but his influence on comedy was ubiquitous. As head writer on “In Living Color,” Mooney helped create and inspire the Homey D. Clown character. He played the future-foretelling Negrodamus on “Chappelle’s Show.”MORE NEWS: Bay Area, NorCal Heatwave May Break Records; 'Potentially Life-Threating' Central Valley Temps
Mooney was also an actor who played Sam Cooke in 1978′s “The Buddy Holly Story” and Junebug in Spike Lee’s 2000 film “Bamboozled.”