Roommates, we are saddened to report that comedic legend Paul Mooney has passed away at the age of 79. The cause of death is reportedly a heart attack that occurred Wednesday morning inside his Oakland, California home. Paul was best known for his unfiltered and sharp approach to comedy–especially with the topic of race.
The news of his death was initially shared on social media by journalist and host Roland S. Martin. Roland reportedly received the notice via phone call from Paul’s cousin Rudy Ealy. Rudy revealed to Roland that Paul had been living with him at the time of his passing. The information was shared to Roland’s official Instagram and Twitter accounts.
“His cousin, Rudy Ealy, just called me from Paul’s phone and said he passed away two hours ago after suffering a heart attack at his home in Oakland,” Roland wrote in his Instagram caption. “He was 79. Rudy Ealy told me that Paul had been suffering with dementia for some time and had been living with him. Rudy said Oakland paramedics valiantly tried to save him after suffering a heart attack this AM.”
In his stand-up comedy acts, Paul never held back. He was known for pushing the boundaries, in particular when speaking on white people. He found a friend in Dave Chapelle, who is known for having a similar, raw approach in his work. Paul starred on ‘Chappelle’s Show’ multiple times in skits as the character ‘Negrodamus’ and in the segment ‘Ask A Black Dude.’
Paul was also a respected writer. According to Deadline, Paul wrote for sitcoms like ‘Sanford and Son’ and ‘Good Times.’ However, his best work is credited to his time alongside the late comedian Richard Pryor. Paul served as the head writer on The Richard Pryor Show and “co-wrote much of the material on Pryor’s comedy albums, including the breakout ‘Live on the Sunset Strip.’ In addition to writing for Richard, Paul also spent time as the head writer for Fox’s ‘In Living Color’ during its first year, Deadline reported.
On Wednesday morning, his official Twitter account shared a message thanking his fans for their love.
“Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts …you’re all are the best!…… Mooney World .. The Godfather of Comedy – ONE MOON MANY STARS! .. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks,” the tweet said.
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