GenreBiography, Comedy, Drama Music directorHerbie Hancock
WriterRocco Urbisci, Paul Mooney Release dateMay 2, 1986 (1986-05-02) CastRichard Pryor (Jo Jo Dancer / Alter Ego), Debbie Allen (Michelle), Art Evans (Arturo), Fay Hauser (Grace), Barbara Williams (Dawn), Carmen McRae (Grandmother) Similar moviesRichard Pryor directed Jo Jo Dancer - Your Life Is Calling and appears in Which Way Is Up?
TaglineA comic with one eye on his audience and another eye on the truth.
Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling is a 1986 semi-autobiographical film starring Richard Pryor. This was the first and only feature film he directed (although he is credited as such on the screen version of Richard Pryor: Here and Now).
Peoria illinois goes hollywood jo jo dancer your life is calling
Pryor plays Jo Jo Dancer, a popular stand-up comedian who has severely burned himself while freebasing cocaine. The film came out after Pryor had set himself on fire while freebasing.
As Dancer lies hospitalized in a coma, his spiritual alter ego revisits his life, from growing up in a brothel as a child and struggling to beat the long odds to become a top-rated comedian. However, his success leads to extensive drug use and womanizing that takes its toll on his life. Jo Jo's spirit watches and attempts to convince his past self to end the cycle of self-destruction.
Richard Pryor as Jo Jo Dancer
E'Lon Cox as Jo Jo (child)
Paula Kelly as Satin Doll
Billy Eckstine as Johnny Barnett
Carmen McRae as Grandmother
Diahnne Abbott as Mother
Debbie Allen as Michelle
Art Evans as Arturo
Barbara Williams as Dawn
Wings Hauser as Cliff
Michael Ironside as Detective Lawrence
The earlier parts of the film were shot in Pryor's hometown of Peoria, Illinois.
Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling received mixed reviews from critics. It currently has a 55% "Rotten" rating on the movie review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.