Monday, October 20, 2008

R.I.P., Dolemite

Rudy Ray Moore passed away earlier today due to complications arising from Diabetes at the age of 81. This is what you might call a breaking story, as few news outlets (including Moore’s own personal site) still haven’t posted the news. The only article I’ve see is here, where they also linked to the Dolemite trailer on You Tube with the rather hysterical warning that it contains profanity - roughly akin to a porn film having a warning sticker about nudity.

Though he’ll be best remembered as the swaggering pimp with an eye for revenge, Moore also had quite a career putting out uproariously filthy comedy records that made Red Foxx seem like Sinbad. Most have been out of print for decades (and with titles like the "Sensuous Black Man" and "This Pussy Belongs to Me", that’s a real shame), but thankfully his filmography is reasonably well represented on DVD.

May people dismissed Rudy as just another filthy “ethnic” comic, but watch the way he manages to both flaunt and tweak blaxploitation stereotypes in pictures like Disco Godfather and Petey Wheatstraw, laughing at and with the narrow range of roles that black actors were stuck with in the 70s. There aren’t enough oversized clocks and gold-plated teeth in the world to put guys like Flavor Flav or Luke Campbell in the same solar system as Rudy.

Peace, brother. The Man can’t touch you now.