That time Richard Pryor ran the Star Wars Bar
Richard Pryor's variety show only lasted four episodes — but since those four episodes aired in 1977, you better believe they included a Star Wars reference.
And not just any reference, but an entire sketch dedicated to Pryor running the 'Star Wars Bar', populated with aliens wearing authentic costumes from the actual Mos Eisley Cantina sequence!
As far as sketches go, there's not much to it — it's basically just Richard Pryor tending bar and wandering around, mingling with and reacting to mute Star Wars aliens ("I know the devil when I see him!") — but it's incredible to see the actual creature masks and costumes being used for a sketch on the forgotten Richard Pryor Show.
As you can see, the 'Star Wars Bar' isn't quite the same as the Cantina, but it seems to share a lot of the same regulars.
While the marketing campaign for the original Star Wars might not have been planned with quite as much military precision as the campaign for, say, The Force Awakens, it was no accident that these aliens ended up on The Richard Pryor Show.
As detailed by original Star Wars publicist Charles Lippincott on Facebook last year, the sketch was part of a campaign to revitalise Star Wars at the box office. According to Lippincott, the campaign also included an appearance on Donny & Marie, the first Making of Star Wars documentary, and the notorious Star Wars Holiday Special.
Pryor's show was reportedly chosen because it was edgier than Saturday Night Live, and because his show gave the film a chance to reach the SNL demographics as well as multicultural audiences.
Whatever the reason, I'm just glad this clip exists at all — and thanks to YouTuber almostpink, you can watch the whole thing above.