Paul Gladney, better known by the stage name Paul Mooney, is an American comedian, writer, social critic, and television and film actor. He is best known for his appearances on Chappelle's Show and as a writer for comedian Richard Pryor.
Paul, a prostate cancer victim and comedic legend, can be seen performing in comedic clubs around the country with the assistance of his brother and his cane. Make no mistake, his old age and disease may have weaken his delivery skills and mental strength but he is still someone who revolutionized the way the country view comedy, by adding layers of African-American history/culture, American politics, identity politics, contemporary issues, racisms and many more issues to evolving genres such as observational comedy, improvisational comedy and sketch comedy.
Gatti Charles Circus’ ex-ringmaster Paul Mooney is best known for his appearances as the famous Negrodomous on Chapelle's shows and also for his writing contribution to the comedian Richard Pryor, especially for his contribution to The Richard Pryor Show when the country was still revolutionizing from one liner to monologue.
Born on August 4, 1941 in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States to George Gladney and LaVoya Ealy, Paul was primarily raised by his loving grandmother as his teenage parents were practically unable to raise him because of economic reasons.
Paul comedic journey started as a ringmaster with the Gatti-Charles Circus, where he also learned pitching and writing jokes. Nonetheless, he was known as a rising local dance star before joining the circus. Later, he joined hands with the famous Richard Pryor and became his writing hand plus mentor after his brief stint with the Fuck the Army troupe alongside the likes of Jane Fonda.
Paul and Richard collaboration yielded in loads of famous Pryor's comedic albums such as Live on the Sunset, Bicentennial Nigger and Is It Something I Said; Pryor's movies such as Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling; and The Richard Pryor Show's news-making controversial yet striking contents.
Nevertheless, he is also credited for boosting Richard Pryor rising 60's rookie career to a mainstream success. It was Paul who helped Richard add profanity into his acts and non-controversial comedy. Ironically, Paul was the one who had a stable upbringing (because of his inspiring grandmother) in comparison to Richard who grew up among pimps and whores.
Furthermore, Paul is also known as one of the prominent figure of the 1980's comics group Black Pack comprising of Eddie Murphy, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Hall, and Townsend. Impressively, he has enjoyed success collaborating with each of his Black Pack friends. Nevertheless, the writer and comedian/comic mentor, who is credited for providing stars such as Sandra Bernhard, Robin Williams, Marsha Warfield and Tim Reid with their first beak into show business as the head writer of The Richard Pryor Show, is also known for his collaboration with Red Foxx.
Nonetheless, his notable movie credentials include cult classics such as Which Way Is Up?, Bustin’ Loose and Hollywood Shuffle; Spike Lee's movie Bamboozled; and singer/songwriter Sam Cooke's biopic The Buddy Holly Story, where he portrays the singer himself.
Paul, who is the author of the bestselling book “Black is the New White”, enjoys a surprisingly low net worth of 500 thousand US dollars. It's hard to imagine that someone who revolutionized the way we perceive comedy would worth so low. As of 2016, he is 74 and battling prostate cancer. It's likely that his cancer treatment has cost him a fortune. Nevertheless, his on-screen comedic career has been in a dormant status because of controversies and criticisms surrounding his straightforward and cocky style of comedy.
Now moving on to his physique, Paul is a tall man with the height of 6 feet and 0½ inches. Amazingly, the American comedian, writer, social critic, television/film actor, vocal activist and ex-dancer of African American ethnicity is still performing in comedy clubs even at the age of 74.
Personality wise, he is referred to by the words such as cocky, straight forward, sharp tounge and rude. In an interview in the past, Paul has said that he derives his comedy from what he sees and hear around. Interestingly, Paul is someone who said his wife “You are fat” when his wife asked him how she was looking. This is how the Paul thinks. Simply, he is a complete realist both on and off screen.
Talking about his relationship status, tabloids suggest that he is a divorcee with three children. His ex-wife is no other than African American ex-actress Yvonne Mooney. Reportedly, the couple parented three children. Unfortunately, his son Symeon was murdered in 2001.
Nevertheless, there is also an archaic rumor that suggests Mooney parenting yet another child with someone after his divorce with Yvonne. However, we cannot verify the rumor until Paul verifies it. Anyway, it's true that he dated actress Lori Petty somewhere in the past.
Unfortunately, fans will not be able to connect Paul on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as he has zero presence online. However, there are numerous fan pages and community pages dedicated to him on the web. Also, one can get acess to many revealing and insightful Paul interviews on the web if you are interested.
August 4, 1941
- Before Mooney started working for Richard Pryor, who also became one of his closest friends, he was writer on the show Sanford and Son. In 1975, he helped write Pryor’s Saturday Night Live episode, and continued to work with the comedian on for his stand-up show, The Richard Pryor Special, which included appearances by Maya Angelou, William Guest, Glynn Turman, and John Belushi.
- In 1977, Mooney was staffed on The Richard Pryor Show, but the TV series only lasted four episode. The two continued to work together for Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, Richard Pryor: Here and Now, the film JoJo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling. Mooney was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series for his work on 1984’ Pryor’s Place. As a writer, he’s also worked on the shows In Living Color and Roseanne.
- While much of Mooney’s work is done behind the camera, he has appeared numerous shows and movies, and is perhaps best known for his work on Chappelle’s Show. Even though he only appeared in three episodes of Dave Chappelle’s insanely popular sketch comedy series, his character of Negrodamus won’t soon be forgotten.
- In 1993, Mooney was nominated for Grammy for his comedy album, Race. The comedian who’s known for his comments on racial lines in American has also released numerous DVD specials of his stand-up, including Paul Mooney: Piece of My Mind, Paul Mooney: Know Your History ‐ Jesus Was Black… So Was Cleopatra, and Paul Mooney’s Analyzing White America.
- He gave Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Tim Reid, Marsha Warfield, and John Witherspoon their big breaks while he was head writer for The Richard Pryor Show; he also wrote for Redd Foxx and In Living Color on Fox.
- He portrayed Damon Wayans’ father in Bamboozled, directed by Spike Lee.