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The first-ever Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was presented to him in 1998. Army from 1958 to 1960, but spent virtually the entire stint in an army prison.
He was listed at number one on Comedy Central's list of all-time greatest stand-up comedians. According to a 1999 profile about Pryor in The New Yorker, Pryor was incarcerated for an incident that occurred while he was stationed in West Germany.
In September 1967, Pryor had what he described in his autobiography Pryor Convictions (1995) as an "epiphany".
He walked onto the stage at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas (with Dean Martin in the audience), looked at the sold-out crowd, exclaimed over the microphone, "What the fuck am I doing here!? Afterward, Pryor began working profanity into his act, including the word "nigger".
It became his third consecutive gold album, and he collected his third consecutive Grammy for Best Comedy Recording for the album in 1977.
Pryor's body of work includes the concert movies and recordings: Richard Pryor: Live & Smokin' (1971), That Nigger's Crazy (1974), ... (1975), Bicentennial Nigger (1976), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979), Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982), and Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983).