Tribeca documentaries put comedians in the spotlight

WEK_RichardPryor_0419

“Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic” premieres May 31 on Showtime.
Credit: Showtime

These new films are definitely a laughing matter.

“Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic”
Pryor was said to have broken the glass ceiling for black comedians, with that trademark tell-it-straight style that touched on the taboo and won fans of all races. Showtime traces the star’s rise to success and the many hiccups that came along the way, from the early Vegas gig he blew to his penchant for freebasing cocaine, which ultimately led to a suicide attempt. With commentary from other comedians like Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, George Lopez, and Dave Chappelle, plus stories from those closest to Pryor, like his managers and ex-girlfriends, the doc provides an in-depth look at the man behind the laughs. When you hear about his decision to get away from the Hollywood scene and head to Africa, suddenly, Dave Chappelle’s meltdown makes a little more sense.

“Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”
The Broadway veteran speaks candidly from her corner suite at the Carlyle Hotel on her career in theater and on “30 Rock,” plus her battles with aging, diabetes and alcoholism. First-time documentary director Chiemi Karasawa was inspired to focus on Stritch after spotting her at the salon. The resulting piece is a mix of interviews with Stritch and her contemporaries like Nathan Lane, Tina Fey and James Gandolfini, plus a look at her day-to-day as a working octogenarian also maintaining her sobriety. Stritch was filmed for a year and a half, during which she and Karasawa would watch her old movies together and talk about everything from Broadway to her dates with John F. Kennedy (for whom she wouldn’t give up her virginity, she divulges in the film). From the sweet old lady singing show tunes in the elevator to the feisty woman telling a swerving cyclist or cabbie “Easy, you son of a bitch!” Stritch’s own character is just as intriguing as those she’s portrayed on the stage and screen.

“I Got Somethin’ to Tell You”
A Kickstarter campaign provided the necessary funding Whoopi Goldberg needed for her directorial debut, a documentary about the trailblazing comedian Moms Mabley. Moms, with her signature crackly voice, mismatched clothes and hunched-over stance, is remembered on-screen through clips, photos and interviews Whoopi conducted with other comedians, like Kathy Griffin, Bill Cosby and Arsenio Hall. She was revered for her ability to appeal to a wide variety of audiences (black, white, male, female) during a politically poignant time in our nation’s history, the Civil Rights Movement. “Without Moms, there certainly would not have been a Whoopi,” Goldberg wrote on her Kickstarter page.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

PHOTOS: Who is Alix Tichelman?

Who is Alix Tichelman, the high end call girl who allegedly murdered a Google executive?

National

Washington state approves first producer of pot edibles

  A Seattle-based company that makes marijuana-infused drinks and candies has become the first business in Washington approved to make edible pot products for the…

National

Florida cat owners call 911 after Russian blue…

By Barbara ListonORLANDO Florida (Reuters) - Kush the cat was quarantined in central Florida after her owner called 911 over the weekend for help, saying…

Local

Times Square costumed characters under scrutiny

Costumed characters in Times Square are under scrutiny after a string of incidents involving Elmo, Woody, Mario and Spider-Man.

Going Out

What to do this week in NYC: July…

Le Fooding Beach Club Presents: San Pellegrino Fruitstock at the Rockaways Friday-Sunday, Noon; $40 Beach 97 97-01 Shorefront Pkwy., Rockaway Beach Picnic on the beach…

Going Out

Where to eat on Bastille Day in NYC

We had ours on the Fourth of July, now it’s time for France’s equivalent on July 14. Go out and show your solidarity with the…

Books

What to eat while you read

A smudge of chocolate on a page never hurt anyone.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, July 9: 'The Bridge,'…

See Diane Kruger solve some mysteries in the second season premiere of "The Bridge."

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

MLB

A Joffrey Ballet dancer threw the most beautiful…

http://youtu.be/Hg61JOZJrYM?t=29s While asked to throw a first pitch at a baseball game can be a treacherous and/or embarrassing experience (see Cent, 50), sometimes everything can…

World Cup

World Cup semifinals preview: Holland vs. Argentina

The second semifinal pits another South American soccer power against a European one.

MLB

MLB power rankings: Athletics cement spot on top,…

The Athletics cement spot on top of our MLB power rankings with a huge trade, while L.A. teams follow.

Travel

Amsterdam is known for sex and drugs, but…

Amsterdam is arguably best known for its red light district and cannabis coffee shops, but the city on the banks of the Amstel River is…

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Wellbeing

Sugar isn't making anyone's life more sweet

Not so sweet. Anne Alexander, author of “The Sugar Smart Diet,” tells us where sugar is hiding and how it’s making us sick. Bet that…

Wellbeing

This will take more years off your life…

  Obesity can cut life short by causing strokes and other illnesses, but a new study quantifies the toll: The most extreme cases cut a…