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Dick Gregory

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:05 pm
by Dirty Old Yank
Deeply saddened by the news of Dick Gregory’s passing.
By January 1961 Dick Gregory was already one of many well known and respected performers in Black comedy
clubs when his agent rang to say the most widely publicized nightclub in the country, the Playboy Club, asked that he replace comedian Irwin Corey who was ill and couldn’t perform in Chicago that night. Hefner saw Dick’s act that evening and signed him to his first lucrative contract, for 3 years. As a result, that same year he was asked to perform on the most popular show on American television, The Tonight Show hosted by Jack Parr which exposed Gregory’s sophisticated and hilarious examinations of racial prejudice to millions of people across the country, most for the first time. Dick’s appearance on the nationally broadcast Tonight Show was his breakout performance and allowed other African American comedians to be exposed to wider (i.e. White) audiences at a time when segregation and lynchings / murders were still commonplace in the South and continued for many years. I’ve got his 1962 LP “Dick Gregory Talks Turkey” (Vee-Jay) and it’s one of the funniest stand-up performances I’ve ever heard, highly recommended!! And his best selling 1964 autobiography is one of the best and most harrowing I’ve ever come across, essential reading. Most online obits about Dick have been very nice but its been interesting to read those obit columns that pretend to admire his work but are in fact thinly veiled attempts at character assassination. Reducing Gregory’s inestimable importance to a few poorly researched paragraphs while combining frequently misused, meaningless phrases like “conspiracy theorist”...chances are those publications really couldn’t care less.
One of the most brilliant, courageous and influential stand-up comedians ever. Writer, fearless civil/human rights activist and nutrition expert Dick Gregory...the world is a much poorer place for his passing.