NEW YORK (AP) — Paul Mooney, a boundary-pushing comedian who was Richard Pryor's longtime writing partner and whose sage, incisive musings on racism and American life made him a revered figure in stand-up, has died. He was 79.
Cassandra Williams, Mooney's publicist, said he died Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland, California, from a heart attack.
"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," read the tweet.
A prolific comic, writer and actor, Mooney was the head writer on "The Richard Pryor Show" and had an extensive list of TV writing credits that included "Sanford and Son," "Good Times," "In Living Color" and "Chappelle's Show."
Mooney's friendship and collaboration with Pryor began in 1968 and lasted until Pryor's death in 2005. Together, they confronted racism perhaps more directly than it ever had been before onstage. Mooney chronicled their partnership in his 2007 memoir “Black Is the New White.”
Mooney wasn't as widely known as Pryor, but his influence on comedy was ubiquitous. As head writer on “In Living Color,” Mooney helped create and inspire the Homey D. Clown character. He played the future-foretelling Negrodamus on “Chappelle's Show."
Mooney was also an actor who played Sam Cooke in 1978's “The Buddy Holly Story” and Junebug in Spike Lee's 2000 film “Bamboozled.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.