Richard Pryor Teaches TikTok (And An Ignorant Journalist) About Poverty
Richard Pryor would have some serious words for Marie Antoinette.
Much like Antoinette, journalism pioneer Dorothy Fuldheim, deemed the “First Lady of Television News,” didn’t actually say “Let Them Eat Cake" when discussing the condition of the American poor with Pryor — however, Fuldheim’s blunt rejection of the realities of poverty on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in June, 1978 prompted a response from the comic legend that was sharper than the blade of any guillotine.
A video clip of the back-and-forth between Pryor and Fuldheim has gone viral on TikTok as Gen Z discovers the cutting and clear comedic voice long known to oldheads as the greatest comic to ever take down a 85-year-old, out-of-touch white lady on Carson. Jerry Seinfeld once called Pryor “the Picasso of our profession,” and Pryor’s polite, playful and deftly pointed response to Fuldheim’s insistence that nobody in 1978 America was starving and no one had to sleep on the streets shows all the skill of a master artist. “Tell them,” Pryor replied.