Dave Chappelle leads tributes after Paul Mooney dies aged 79

Dave Chappelle leads tributes after Paul Mooney dies aged 79

May 19, 2021

Dave Chappelle, D. L. Hughley, and Viola Davis have led tributes following the death of comedian Paul Mooney.

The late star famously worked opposite Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story and worked with Chappelle on various sketches.

He died of a heart attack at his home in Oakland, California, after suffering from a heart attack aged 79.

Speaking to TMZ after the news broke, Chappelle stated: ‘[Today’s] a tough one. I want to shout out every comedian on earth, one of the best that ever did it passed away today… his legacy will live forever.

‘He did everything from the Richard Pryor show to the Chappelle show and he’s one of the first black people to ever in the writer’s guild. Paul Mooney will be sorely missed and wildly remembered… I’ll see to that’.

Oscar-winner Viola Davis wrote: ‘Awww…. RIP comedy legend Paul Mooney! You were both funny and poignant. So happy to have witnessed your genius live. Rest well!!! Pour down some laughter here. We need it.’

He penned some of Pryor’s routines for Saturday Night Live, as well as some of his other material, and was head writer on The Richard Pryor Show.

Rest In Peace to the legend Paul Mooney.

REST EASY PAUL MOONEY!! pic.twitter.com/xGImq0V3ay

you could never be muted we will miss you mr. paul mooney • #restinpeace pic.twitter.com/NPt6VUpj4j

Mooney is also credited with giving many other comedians, including Robin Williams their first break into show business.

Speaking about his comedy to Canada’s The Globe and Mail, Mooney said in 2014: ‘I’ve been doing this a very long time. If I have to describe my brand of comedy, we’ve got a problem here in Canada.’

Mooney went on to work closely with Chappelle, on sketches like Ask A Black Dude and Mooney at the Movies.

Comic W Kamau Bell recalled: ‘I was lucky enough to open for Paul Mooney several times.

‘It was a master class. It was like a Malcolm X speech that had been punched up by Redd Foxx. & then in the middle of everything he’d go off on a tangent about Jane Fonda. He was 1 of the greats. Rest in Peace, Mr. Mooney.’

One fan wrote: ‘This man was an icon and legend. Rest in Power Paul Mooney!’ while another added: ‘RIP Paul Mooney. One of the most historic comedians of all time. The incomparable truth teller. A resume like no other.’

‘Rest In Peace to the OG Paul Mooney,’ another added.

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