For the minister and signer of the Declaration of Independence, see John Witherspoon.

John Witherspoon (born January 27, 1942, died October 29, 2019) was an American comedy actor known for his roles in, Hollywood Shuffle (1987), Boomerang (1992), Murder Was The Case (1994), Friday (1995), Vampire In Brooklyn (1995) and the 1990s WB sitcom The Wayans Bros. and as Robert Freeman in The Boondocks.


Witherspoon was born in Detroit, Michigan. He combined a career as a stand-up comic with appearances on television and films.

Most of his roles in movies have been as humorously cantankerous characters as seen in Boomerang where he is nationally known for him uttering the phrase, "Bang!, Bang!, Bang!", House Party, Vampire In Brooklyn and the Friday series. More roles include Robert Jebediah "Granddad" Freeman in the animated television show The Boondocks.

Witherspoon, along with the likes of Paul Mooney, Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, and Tim Reid appeared on the groundbreaking and controversial NBC sketch comedy series The Richard Pryor Show, which was the brainchild of Richard Pryor. He was a regular on the sitcom The Wayans Bros.. He also appeared in Good Times, What's Happening!!, and Martin.

Witherspoon's longtime friend David Letterman is the godfather to his son, John David.[1] His brother, William Weatherspoon, wrote the Motown hit "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted". Witherspoon is a cousin of Lamont Dozier.


Witherspoon appeared in Jay-Z's video for "I Just Wanna Luv U (Give It 2 Me)" and in Field Mob's music video for "Sick of Being Lonely". He can be seen in Hitman Sammy Sam's video "Step Daddy" as Stepdaddy #1. He also appeared in LL Cool J's video "Ain't Nobody".

Witherspoon was interviewed on Space Ghost Coast to Coast but the interview never aired, although the interview is quickly glimpsed on Episode 60: "Lawsuit", when Space Ghost is looking for a lawyer. Witherspoon's first hour-long stand-up special, You Got To Coordinate, premiered on the Showtime Network (USA) on March 28, 2008. It is available on DVD through Image Entertainment

Witherspoon was a spokesman for Eastern Motors, a Washington, DC-based used car dealership.

Personal life and death

Witherspoon married Angela Robinson in 1988. They have two sons, John David ("J.D.") and Alexander. J.D. is known for making skits and gameplay videos on YouTube, and hosted the mobile game show Confetti on Facebook Watch. David Letterman was Witherspoon's best friend and is the godfather to his two sons.

Witherspoon died of a heart attack at his home in Sherman Oaks, California, on October 29, 2019. He was 77 years old. His funeral was held on November 5, 2019, and he was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.

Selected filmography

Year Film Role
1987 Hollywood Shuffle Mr. Jones
1988 I'm Gonna Get You Sucka Reverend
1990 House Party Mr. Strickland
1992 Boomerang Mr. Jackson
1993 The Meteor Man Clarence James Carter III
Fatal Instinct Detective
1995 Vampire in Brooklyn Silas Green
Friday Willie Jones
1996 Ride Roscoe
1997 Fakin'Da Funk Bill
Sprung Detective
1998 Bulworth Reverend Morris
I got the hook up Mr. Mimm
2000 Next Friday Willie Jones
The Ladies Man Scrap Iron
Little Nicky Street Vendor
2001 Dr. Dolittle 2 Zoo Bear #2 (voice)
2002 Friday After Next Willie Jones
2004 Soul Plane Blind Man
2006 Little Man Pops
2007 After Sex Gene
2008 The Super Rumble Mixshow
The Hustle Mr. Wikes
2009 Hopelessly in June Mr. Myers
2011 A Thousand Words
class="wikitable sortable" 2011 Chick Magnet John
2012 A Thousand Words Blind Old Man
2019 I Got the Hook Up 2 Mr. Mimm
2020 Reality Queen Joe The Plumber Posthumous release; Final film role


2006 Thugaboo: A Miracle on D-Roc's Street Real Santa / Christmas Singer on Radio Voice, TV movie
2008 The Super Rumble Mixshow
2011 Tosh.0 Fart Section Bus Passenger Episode: "Fart Bus Kid"
2012–2015 The First Family Grandpa Alvin Recurring role

28 episodes

2013 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja S. Ward Smith Voice, Episode: "Sword Quest"
2014 Anger Management Will Episode: "Charlie Tests His Power"
2014–2019 Black Jesus Lloyd 31 episodes
2014 Black Dynamite Voice, Episode: "The Warriors Come Out or The Mean Queens of Halloween"
2016 Black-ish James Brown 2 episodes
Animals. Jimmy Voice, Episode: "Squirrels Part I"
2017 White Famous Limo Driver Episode: "Pilot"
2019 The Jellies Voice, Episode: "Doctor Pirates!"
2019 BoJack Horseman Franco Aplenty Voice, Episode: "Surprise!”


External links

[[Category:Burials at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery (Hollywood Hills)]

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