Tue. May 21st, 2024

Richard Pryor by photo by Alan Light [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons; Roseanne Barr by Jonathan Mauer CC3.0

S4E5: The Tears of a Clown | Richard Pryor & Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold


They say that if you don’t laugh, you’ll have to cry, and that seems very true of our subjects this week. Comedian Richard Pryor revolutionized the art form when he stormed onto the scene in the 1960s. By the end of the decade, he was one of the edgiest and most successful voices in comedy. Alicia documents his five wives, six divorces, and seven marriages – as well as the profoundly difficult childhood he survived but never quite outran.

Then, Stacie has the strange life and career of pathbreaking comedienne Roseanne Barr, whose quick rise from the comedy clubs of Denver to the bright lights of Hollywood inspired a generation to take a stab at stand-up. Her early ’90s romance with comedian Tom Arnold was seemingly designed for the tabloids. Her story is complicated, baffling, and in many ways, sad.

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Alicia’s Receipts

7 Marriages and Many Affairs: Inside Richard Pryor’s Chaotic Love Life

Richard Pryor’s Widow on Marlon Brando Affair: ‘He Wasn’t Ashamed!’

8 Fascinating Facts About Richard Pryor


Stacie’s Receipts

Wikipedia entries for Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold

Washington Post’s extensive profile of Roseanne after her 2018 firing.

Vanity Fair December 1990, The Ballad of Roseanne and Tom

11 Stories of Roseanne and Tom’s marriage

Tom Shales’s somewhat incredulous WaPo reporting on their split in 1994


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