Tragic news struck the world of comedy today when it was confirmed that comedic legend Paul Mooney passed away at the age of 79. Cassandra Williams, a rep for the actor, and his daughter Spring Mooney, both confirmed the news separately. Mooney's illustrious career began in the 60s before he became a writer for Richard Pryor. Mooney was largely regarded as a pioneering figure in comedy.
Dave Chappelle, who worked with Mooney on The Chappelle Show, spoke to TMZ earlier today where he reflected on the late actor's legacy.
"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," said Chappelle before listing off Mooney's long-list of accomplishments. "He's one of the first Black people ever in the Writer's Guild. Paul Mooney will be sorely missed and wildly remembered," continued Chappelle.
Paul Mooney reportedly passed away from a heart attack on Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland, California. Many other celebrities also shared heartwarming messages. "Paul Mooney. A comedy giant. I recall listening to his RACE album in college and how formative it was. Yeah, the jokes. But more so, the freedom. He spoke freely and fearlessly about feelings and experiences others found difficult to express. May he be truly free now. Rest, sir," Ava Duvernay wrote on Twitter.
RIP Paul Mooney.