The comedy world is in mourning today as Paul Mooney (born Paul Gladney) has passed away at the age of 79 from a heart attack.
Roland Martin announced the death of Mooney on his Twitter page. “Comedic legend Paul Mooney has passed away,” Martin said. “His cousin, Rudy Ealy, just called me from Paul’s phone and said he passed away two hours ago after suffering a heart attack at his home in Oakland. He was 79.”
Mooney is perhaps best known for his frequent appearances on Chappelle’s Show. Mooney began in sketches like “Ask a Black Dude” and later became “Negrodamus,” a take on Nostradamus that looked at life’s biggest questions. “Why do white people love Wayne Brady?” Mooney was asked. “Because Wayne Brady makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X,” he joked.
Mooney also has a long history of writing for television. He served as the head writer for Fox’s In Living Color sketch comedy show during its first season. He also wrote for Saturday Night Live, Sanford and Son, and Good Times, plus served as the head writer for The Richard Pryor Show. His jokes about racism often brought about as much reflection as it did laughs.
Mooney most recently acted in BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, a parody of reality television, and was in 2016’s Meet the Blacks.
ComingSoon sends condolences to Mooney’s friends and family during this difficult time.