HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) – A special tribute will be held Thursday at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood to honor comedian, actor and writer Paul Mooney, who passed away last week from a heart attack at the age of 79.
FILE — Paul Mooney performs at the Laugh Factory’s 31st annual Free Christmas Dinner on Dec. 25, 2010, in Hollywood, Calif. (Getty Images)
Mooney’s family plans to attend, as will many comedians, both in person and on video, according to the organizers of the invitation-only event.
Along with his friend and creative collaborator Richard Pryor, Mooney was among the comedians who performed at the Laugh Factory’s first show when the club opened in 1979.
“Paul Mooney was really the godfather of Black Lives Matter, because for four decades he talked about achieving true equality for African Americans in our country,” Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada said.
“Paul appeared thousands of times on the Laugh Factory stage, and he also taught at Laugh Factory Comedy Camp with Richard Pryor and Arsenio Hall, where one of his students was future actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish. We are all looking forward to saluting Paul, who was truly a comic genius.”
Mooney wrote for Pryor, Dave Chappelle and Eddie Murphy for many years, as well as for shows such as “Sanford and Son,” “In Living Color” and “Good Times.”
He also played Sam Cooke in the Oscar-winning 1978 film, “The Buddy Holly Story.”
“I want to shout out every comedian on earth, one of the best that ever did it, passed away today,” Dave Chappelle told TMZ in New York City immediately following the news of Mooney’s death. “His legacy will live forever. He did everything from ‘Richard Pryor Show’ to ‘Chappelle’s Show.’ He’s one of the first Black people ever let into the Writer’s Guild. Paul Mooney will be sorely missed and widely remembered, I will see to that.”