Paul Mooney, trailblazing comedian, writer, and actor, died on May 19, 2021 in Oakland, California.
He suffered a fatal heart attack at his home.
His daughter, Spring, shared the sad news via Twitter at 11:23 AM that her father.
“Give me a moment. My best friend just died and my world is forever SHOOK !!! I really can’t put into words right now my feelings .. know that I LOVE THIS MAN AND I AM BROKEN.”
Later in the day, she tweeted this.
Been crying all day … BUT I LAUGHED TOO CUZ BAY BE … we gonna always laugh !!! LOVE YOU TO THE MOONEY AND BACK PAPA … drove down sunset one time for ya papa … the world loves you NOT MORE THAN ME THO ;)) 🌚 pic.twitter.com/2m9872qAsQ
— Spring Mooney (@MooneySpring) May 19, 2021
Here are three things to know about Paul Mooney.
1. Writer For Legendary Comedians and Shows
We all lost one remarkable great funnyman today.
The incredible Paul Mooney. Prayers to his kind and wonderful family. pic.twitter.com/CRdhl11KEi
— Tim Allen (@ofctimallen) May 20, 2021
Born in Shreveport Louisiana, Mooney got his start writing material for Richard Pryor.
He went on to write for the iconic 90s show In Living Color.
His comedy was admired by many A-list stars who paid tribute to him.
Actress Viola Davis shared her thoughts on Twitter.
“You were both funny and poignant. So happy to have witnessed your genius live. Rest well!!! Pour down some laughter here. We need it.”
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 💗💗💗 pic.twitter.com/cr6MqY3UXA
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 19, 2021
Filmmaker Ava Duvernay was inspired by his honesty.
On Twitter, she said:
“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.”
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 (@ava) May 19, 2021
2. Movie Star
Mooney’s acting credits are equally impressive.
He co-starred with Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story which premiered in 1978.
Spike Lee directed him in the 2000 movie Bamboozled.
3. Comedic Pioneer
Dave Chappelle shouts out Paul Mooney: “One of the best that ever did it” pic.twitter.com/Mwi74LCyGS
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 19, 2021
In 2004, he worked with Dave Chapelle, starring in Chappelle’s Show playing Negrodamus.
He thought stand-up comedy needed more people like Chapelle.
“We need people who are talented, creative and speak the truth. It’s a dying breed.”
Mooney is also responsible for discovering Sandra Bernhard.
She retold the story on Cinco De Mayo 2021 on Twitter.
“Cinco De Mayo 1974, I moved to LA my dad drove me over from Scottsdale in my Ford Maverick with a Landau roof, studied manicuring at the Charles Ross School of Beauty. I was 18 started performing a year later @PaulEalyMooney discovered me at the Ye Little Club the rest is history.”