Richard Pryor has been hailed as the greatest comedian of all time, doing stand-up until about 1984, give or take a small amount of time... or at least that's what I thought. According to witness accounts, there have been reports of Pryor continuing to do stand-up until as late as 2001, until the MS made it too difficult for him to continue performing. But why haven't you heard of him doing this? Simple, he was tired of touring.
He wanted to entertain people on his own terms, using whatever material he wanted, so he started hitting up comedy clubs along the lower west coast and even some smaller places in Canada.
It was incredibly difficult to not get noticed, being the greatest stand-up ever, so he wore disguises that almost always worked, but occasionally, his ego got the best of him and he went a few times to incredibly rural areas without anything covering his face, but these were the few times I got witness accounts.
Here's the only willing person I was able to find, who tracked down his shows for around 6 months in the early 90s, and again up from 1998-99.
"Apparently, people tried to take photos when he was doing this shit unmasked, and those people got dragged outside and beaten senseless, once or twice to the point of death to act as an example. Remember how he kept doing movies until the late 90s? Well, notice how his ego is mostly what exploded there (cast members in the late 80s onward talked about this), and this was further shown when it was brought to my attention that he liked to talk about at his shows how 'a nigga be gettin better material by the day, Carlin be shuffling his shit around for the last 30 years.' He started to get angrier as his sets went on, complaining about why everything in the world is wrong, and at a point did a few sets where there weren't even any jokes, just him yelling at the crowd. And after these sets, he just walked back offstage like he was a completely different person."
Even more curious, I heard he made one more concert film, privately, that was leaked to Jennifer Lee, Pryor's final wife and manager, just last year. It was an hour and 22 minutes, and the file was titled "RP_existance." According to reports, it was shot at Laugh Factory with a camera that looked like it was straight out of the mid 80s. I had to hassle Jennifer Lee to release the details, when she eventually broke down when I confronted her in the streets. Crying, she told me about the horrifying picture:
"It must have taken place in 2001 or 2002. Richard made many "business" trips for those few years, even though he needed assistance to get anywhere. After hours at the Laugh Factory, it was him in a room, with no real crowd, but him, standing in front of an unplugged microphone, in the darkness. Because of the distance of the camera, I could barely make out his face, but based on his expression, it was clear as day. He spent 30 or 35 minutes telling inaudible jokes and laughing hysterically to himself after he told them, and he looked like he hadn't slept in days, and was almost skeletally thin.
Two minutes after this though, the man snapped. Just started screaming words that I could barely make out, moving so rapidly like he was going to have a seizure, and then he fell out of his chair flat on his face as his mobility vehicle drifted into the distance. Flat on his face in his nearly decomposed shape, he twitched, but then stopped and was there until the video had a minute or so left, and I noticed something horrifying. A tall man in a suit with some odd mask on just came into the picture and stared at him deathly still, as the video stops."
She said this in tears, and when I mentioned that the screams had to have been partially audible due to the area of the Laugh Factory, she grew pale and stumbled away as if her heart had been shattered instantaneously.
Original author unknown