The media outlet spoke to the owner of the venue, Jamie Masada, who laid out the event’s details. Masada said the tribute is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 27, at 3 p.m. PT, and will feature appearances from his twin sons Dwayne and Daryl, who are also comedians. Actors Eddie Murphy and Kevin Hart also were asked to join. Actress Tiffany Haddish was announced in the lineup, but won’t be able to make it due to a prior work engagement. However, the “Night School” star will send in a tribute video to be played in her absence. The night is expected to feature special performances from fellow comedians as they share some of their funniest memories of the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Comedy.” The Laugh Factory became a second home to Mooney. When other establishments turned him away due to his race or racy material, The Laugh Factory reportedly always welcomed him.
Members of the Oakland City Council also plan to honor the comedian with a special home tribute. There aren’t any official details regarding what that would look like; however, those involved are reportedly thinking of offering a college scholarship, a plaque in the Black Arts District or a recurring comedy event featuring the top burgeoning comedians in Oakland. Mooney, who was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and moved to Los Angeles in the early ’60s after working as a ringmaster at the Gatti-Charles Circus.
The writer and funnyman, who was most notable for his raw and sometimes controversial takes on race, passed away on Wednesday, May 19, in his Oakland, California, home after reportedly suffering from a heart attack. Early that morning, broadcast personality Roland Martin reported the devastating news. In a post on Twitter, Martin wrote, “BREAKING NEWS: Rudy Ealy, the cousin of @PaulEalyMooney, told me that Paul had been suffering with dementia for some time and had been living with him. Rude said Oakland paramedics valiantly tried to save him after suffering a heart attack this AM. #RolandMartinUnfiltered.” Mooney was 79.
No more than half an hour later, Mooney’s family released a statement on Twitter. In the post, the family thanked fans from “the bottom of all of our hearts,” adding, “you’re all are the best!…… Mooney World .. The Godfather of Comedy – ONE MOON MANY STARS! .. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks🙏🏾.”
“The Buddy Holly Story” star was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. However, despite his ailment, he continued to perform sometimes with the assistance of a cane or wheelchair while privately battling the disease. When talking to the Associated Press about his career, the comedian boldly asserted that he would’ve garnered more opportunities, but the film industry was frightened of “a proud Black man like me” — a tone he maintained throughout his profession.
In his 2007 memoir “Black Is the New White,” he wrote, “Whatever that thing is that white people like in Blacks, I don’t have it.” He added, “Maybe it’s my arrogance or my self-assurance or the way I carry myself, but whatever it is, I don’t have it.”