ABC News is set to release a two hour special on comedian Richard Pryor, chronicling the days leading up to his near-fatal incident. According to Entertainment Weekly, the documentary dives into the comedian’s state of mind, days before he infamously set himself on fire during a drug binge in 1980.
“The Last Days of Richard Pryor,” which is set to premiere on Thursday, will feature archived clips of Pryor’s interview with Barbara Walters, in addition to in-person interviews with Pryor’s widow and ex-girlfriend. Pryor’s friend Rashan Khan will also appear in the documentary, where he will discuss the inspiration behind Pryor’s drug-induced dousing. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
At the time of the incident, Pryor’s lawyer, Skip Brittenham, explained that the famous comedian doused himself with high-proof rum then pointed a torch lighter to himself while under the influence. This led one to believe Pryor was being impulsive because of the drugs and possibly suicidal.
Although Pryor had less than a 50% chance of survival as shown in old news clips during the special, his friend Khan made the connection that the drugs he was on prevented him from feeling the excruciating pain that would have sent him into shock, which could have ultimately killed him.
The two hour special “The Last Days of Richard Pryor” airs tonight at 9 pm ET on ABC.