Pryor ran down his street in Northridge, Calif., until subdued by police. His daughter said her father was in a drug-induced psychosis and poured rum over his body and set himself on fire.
Pryor, 39, was given a 1-in-3 chance to live, but he survived and continued to do stand-up.
During his 1982 comedy show, the street-wise comedian joked that the fire was caused by dunking a cookie into a glass of low-fat and pasteurized milk.
He waved a lit match, "What's this? It's Richard Pryor running down the street."
Pryor died in 2005. Comedy Central listed him as No. 1 on its list of all time greatest stand-up comedians.