One of stand-up comedy’s true pioneers, Dick Gregory died on Saturday of heart failure, his rep confirmed to media outlets.
He was 84 years old.
The sharp, incisive stand-up comedian helped to pioneer the art while also becoming an impactful civil rights activist in his lifetime, and will not be soon forgotten by the comedy world for his incredible influence on comedians and acts over the last several decades and on into today’s time.
His son, Christian Gregory, released a statement through his father’s rep about the passing:
One of Gregory’s legendary jokes at the time went like this:
“Last time I was down South, I walked into this restaurant, and this white waitress came up to me and said, ‘We don’t serve colored people here.’ I said, ‘That’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.'”
The crowd during that show was mostly white executives from a frozen food company, and the reportedly loved him — leading Hefner to keep booking Gregory for what turned out to be three more years, leading to more and more attention on the comedy circuit for his witty, smart comedy.
Now, Hollywood mourns a legend on Twitter (below):
Rest n Peace Dick Gregory. Warrior, soldier, revolutionary….Your voice will be missed in this troubled world.
David Alan Grier (@davidalangrier) August 20, 2017
Dick Gregory lived an amazing, revolutionary life. A groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice. RIP
John Legend (@johnlegend) August 20, 2017
Dick Gregory, God Bless your Soul and may Angels guide thee to thy rest!
LeVar Burton (@levarburton) August 20, 2017
Sad news about Dick Gregory’s passing. It’s always such a gut punch to lose a comedian. He was so much more. Champion for civil rights.
Dane Cook (@DaneCook) August 20, 2017
So, so sad.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, loved ones, and the many, many people he touched during his long, impactful career.
[Image via Joseph Marzullo/WENN.]
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