Rudy Ray Moore wants some respect, and he wants it, like, yesterday.
The man perhaps most famous for the ´70s low-low-low-budget Dolemite movies he produced and starred in is tired of no one recognizing him. They obviously don't realize he's the king of the "party records" (his most familiar title), and also the godfather of rap and the original king of comedy. He's tired of celebrity fans like Eddie Murphy and Quentin Tarantino promising him gigs in their next movies, only to have it slip their minds. He's tired of Steve Harvey -- "with his no-honoring self," as Moore puts it -- not giving him props for his self-made success and popularity whenever he appeared on his radio show. And furthermore, he's tired of no one realizing how goddamn great he is.
"I'm not conceited because of my greatness," explains Moore from his Las Vegas home base. "I am convinced that I do have it."
Moore will joke around today at the Dolemite Comedy Ball. But if you think Moore is being silly and doing a Kanye West impersonation, he's not. He sounds less like the randy, boisterous, gloriously profane mackdaddy he perfected on comedy albums and, of course, in the Dolemite movies. He certainly doesn't drop any F-bombs when he seriously explains why it's about time somebody gave him some credit.
"I was 37 years old when I hit on records," he says, passing on disclosing his current age. "I come out with a structure of humor that was so fresh and so original and has never been used before. And today, people want to give Richard Pryor the credit of starting that, which the comedy was Dolemite, the Signifying Monkey, the Great Titanic, the old folklore tales from many years ago that had these four-letter words in it. I am the world's first to go out there and crack humor like this on a record."
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But even if he doesn't get the accolades he so believes he deserves, Moore will continue to turn out the audiences the same way he did white women back in those Dolemite movies. "I want them to take with them that Rudy Ray Moore -- Dolemite -- is a clever performer. He is a great singer. He is a great comic. I say that I am all of this."
Sun., April 2, 8 & 10:30 p.m.