Bay Area comedy legend Paul Mooney dead at 79

(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

He was a comedy legend who worked closely with both Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle.

Paul Mooney, a longtime comedian, actor and writer, died from a heart attack on Wednesday as first reported by TMZ. He was 79.

Mooney was born in Louisiana, but moved to Oakland and grew up there. Mooney got his first taste for performing as a circus ringmaster, and got his first professional show business job as a writer for Pryor. Mooney collaborated with Pryor for most of his career, contributing jokes to his stand-up performances like “Live on the Sunset Strip” and was the head writer on “The Richard Pryor Show”.

Mooney saw a resurgence in popularity in the early 2000s, as a contributor and writer on “Chappelle’s Show”. His other writing credits include “Sanford and Son,” and “In Living Color”

Mooney had been out of the spotlight in recent years and was reportedly suffering from dementia while living with a family member.



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