ABC to Explore Richard Pryor’s Life in ‘Last Days’ Special

The Last Days of Richard Pryor (Credit: ABC)

ABC News will take a closer look at Richard Pryor’s life and legacy in a special airing this week titled The Last Days of Richard Pryor.

The two-hour program is touted as being told “through eyes of those close to Pryor,” ABC announced in a press release.

The show includes never-before-seen interviews that Barbara Walters did with the trailblazing comedian. It also revisits how Pryor grew up in a brothel in Peoria, Illinois; it looks at his rise to the  top of the comedy world; and the drug use and demons that plagued his personal life. Pryor died in Los Angeles at age 65 in 2005.

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The recently released trailer for the special shows Hollywood insiders sharing stories on how Pryor used comedy to raise awareness about social issues.

“He changed the way people thought about blacks, whites, themselves,” Tim Reid explains in the video.

“He would say things in a way that would just open your heart,” Lily Tomlin adds.

ABC aired a Last Days special on Michael Jackson in 2018. The show was a ratings hit, but prompted legal action by Jackson’s estate, which said the program was made without its consent.

The Richard Pryor special includes an interview with his widow, Jennifer Pryor, according to ABC. The special is produced by ABC News. David Sloan is senior executive producer. Muriel Pearson is executive producer.

The Last Days of Richard Pryor airs Thursday, Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.