Paul Mooney (comedian)

American comedian, writer, social critic, television and film actor

Paul Gladney (August 4, 1941 – May 19, 2021), better known by the stage name Paul Mooney, was an American comedian,[1] writer, social critic and actor. He was best known as a writer for comedian Richard Pryor.[2] He played singer Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story (1978) and Junebug in Bamboozled (2000). He also made many appearances on Chappelle's Show.

Paul Mooney
Mooney in December 2009
Birth namePaul Gladney
Born(1941-08-04)August 4, 1941
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedMay 19, 2021(2021-05-19) (aged 79)
Oakland, California, U.S.
MediumStand-up comedy, television, film, books
Years active1965–2021
GenresObservational comedy, improvisational comedy, sketch comedy
Subject(s)African-American history, African-American culture, American politics, identity politics, current events, racism, race relations, pop culture
Notable works and rolesSam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story
Junebug in Bamboozled
Negrodamus in Chappelle's Show

Mooney died of a heart attack at his home in Oakland, California on May 19, 2021 at the age of 79.[3]


  1. Ryfle, Steve (March 26, 2010). "Richard Pryor's Designated Writer: An Interview With Paul Mooney". PopMatters.
  2. Conan, Neal (December 8, 2009). "Mooney's Memories: 'Black Is The New White'". National Public Radio.
  3. "Paul Mooney, Comic Legend, Dead at 79". TMZ. May 19, 2021. Retrieved May 19, 2021.