Paul Mooney Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Paul Mooney was an American comedian, writer, and actor born on August 4, 1941, and died on May 19, 2021. He worked closely with Redd Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chappelle.

Mooney wrote for Richard Pryor and contributed to TV shows like “Sanford and Son,” “In Living Color,” and “Chappelle’s Show.” He also appeared in films such as “The Buddy,” “Holly Story,” and “Bamboozled” directed by Spike Lee.

Full NamePaul Mooney
Date of BirthAugust 4, 1941
DiedMay 19, 2021 
Place of BirthShreveport, Louisiana, USA
OccupationComedian, Actor, Writer
Height6 feet (184 cm)
SpouseYvonne Mooney (divorced)
ChildrenSymeon Mooney, Dwayne Mooney,
Daryl Mooney, Shane Mooney
Net Worth$500,000

Paul Mooney’s Early Life

Paul Mooney Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Paul Mooney was born on August 4, 1941, in Shreveport Louisiana. At the age of seven, his family moved to Oakland California. His parents were George Gladney and LaVoya Ealy but Mooney was mostly raised by his grandmother Aimay Ealy affectionately called “Mama” by the family.

Interestingly it was George Gladney who gave him the nickname “Mooney” inspired by the actor Paul Muni who starred in the classic film “Scarface.

Career

Paul Mooney Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Paul Mooney started his career as a ringmaster with the Gatti-Charles Circus where his knack for comedy and joke-writing soon became clear. This talent paved the way for his first major gig as a writer for the legendary comedian Richard Pryor. Mooney contributed to Pryor’s work on “Saturday Night Live” in 1975 and co-wrote some of Pryor’s albums including “Is It Something I Said?,” “Bicentennial Nigger” and “Live on the Sunset Strip.” He also helped write the screenplay for Pryor’s 1986 film “Jo Jo Dancer Your Life Is Calling.”

As the head writer for “The Richard Pryor Show,” Mooney played a key role in launching the careers of young comedians like Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Marsha Warfield, John Witherspoon, and Tim Reid. He also wrote for TV shows like “Sanford and Son,” and “Good Times” and acted in several cult classic films including “Which Way Is Up?,” “Bustin’ Loose,” and “Hollywood Shuffle.” Additionally, Mooney portrayed singer Sam Cooke in “The Buddy Holly Story.”

Mooney was the head writer for the first season of Fox’s “In Living Color” where he inspired the character Homey D. Clown played by Damon Wayans. Later he played Wayan’s father in Spike Lee’s film “Bamboozled” portraying the comedian Junebug.

On “Chappelle’s Show” on Comedy Central, Mooney became known for his sketches “Ask a Black Dude” and “Mooney at the Movies.” He also created the character Negrodamus an African American take on Nostradamus providing humorous answers to life’s mysteries. Mooney was set to continue as Negrodamus in the show’s third season but Dave Chappelle left the show due to creative differences.

In 2006, Mooney hosted a BET special called “25 Most @#%! Moments” in Black History highlighting significant incidents involving African Americans from 1980 onwards. Notable moments included stories about Marion Barry, Terrell Owens, Michael Jackson, and others.

Mooney’s first book a memoir titled “Black Is the New White” was published in 2007.

Paul Mooney Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In November 2014, it was announced that Mooney had prostate cancer but he continued touring and performing stand-up.

At the 2005 BET Comedy Awards, Mooney presented a segment called the “Black People Wake Up Call Award” which humorously criticized African American celebrities for trying to fit in with white society. This included jokes about Diana Ross’s 2002 DUI arrest which offended her daughter Tracee Ellis Ross leading her to leave the event. Mooney defended his performance arguing that celebrities who engage in controversial behavior should expect to be joked about.

Mooney’s remarks were mostly edited out of the broadcast. Later in a 2006 CNN appearance, he vowed to stop using the n-word influenced by Michael Richards’s controversial outbursts. He reaffirmed this decision on NPR’s News & Notes and performed his first “n-word-free” comedy show at the Lincoln Theater. Although he almost made it through the entire set without using the word he accidentally did so during a joke about O.J. Simpson causing him to briefly leave the stage. Despite this slip, he reiterated his commitment to avoiding the word in future performances.

Mooney continued to speak out against the use of the n-word expressing his intent to foster broader discussions on the topic with prominent figures like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Net Worth

Paul Mooney had an estimated net worth of $500 Thousand at the time of his death, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The main source of Paul Mooney’s net worth primarily came through his contributions to comedy and entertainment.

He gained recognition for his sharp wit and incisive social commentary, which he often expressed through stand-up comedy, writing for popular shows like “Saturday Night Live,” and collaborations with comedians such as Richard Pryor. Mooney’s ability to tackle controversial topics with humor and insight earned him a dedicated fan base and opportunities in television and film, ultimately contributing to his financial success in the entertainment industry.

Personal life

Paul Mooney Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In an interview with Comedy Hype in August 2019, Richard Pryor’s former bodyguard Rashon Khan made a shocking claim. He accused comedian Paul Mooney of sexually abusing Richard Pryor Jr. when he was a child. According to Khan, this incident enraged Richard Pryor so much that he wanted Mooney killed, but was stopped by his serious injuries from a 1980 fire.

Richard Pryor Jr. has confirmed he was sexually assaulted as a child but he has not named Paul Mooney as his attacker.

Mooney wed Yvonne in 1973. They had three kids: Spring, Shane, and Symeon. Mooney also had twin sons Daryl and Dwayne from an earlier marriage. Tragically in 2001, Symeon died in an incident where he was reportedly shot by a friend.

Paul Mooney a notable comedian and writer passed away from a heart attack on May 19, 2021, at the age of 79 at his home in Oakland California.