Legendary comedian and actor John Witherspoon died at the age of 77 on Tuesday (Oct. 29) at his home in Sherman Oaks, California, as CNN reports. Witherspoon was best known for his roles in Friday, The Boondocks, The Wayans Bros., Boomerang and House Party. He got his first television role in 1977 on The Richard Pryor Show and was featured in many other series and films throughout his life, often ensuing laughter among many audiences. Below, take a look at five of John Witherspoon’s funniest moments.

1.Friday (1995) John Witherspoon as Willie Jones

In Ice Cube’s cult classic 1995 stoner film Friday, John Witherspoon portrayed Craig’s (Cube) over-the-top father, Willie Jones. At the beginning of the film, Jones finds Craig in the kitchen attempting to find something to eat for breakfast.

“Every time I come in the kitchen, you in the kitchen. In the Gotdamn refrigerator, eating up all the food. All the chicken. All the pig feet. You ate my dinner. My mashed potatoes…You ate all that up. You drank up all the milk. Don’t care what kind of it is You don’t care. 2% 3% Buttermilk…” Witherspoon said.

2. The Boondocks, season one (2005) John Witherspoon as Robert “Granddad” Freeman (voice)

In Aaron McGruder’s hit series The Boondocks, John Witherspoon lent his voice as Robert “Granddad” Freeman. During an episode of season one, Witherspoon told his grandchildren how he desired a “golden shower,” while not truly understanding what it meant.

“Golden shower sounds like a nice gift to me. What? Shoot! I wish someone gave me a golden shower. One, I like gold. Two, I like showers. Put it together. That sounds like the life,” said Witherspoon.

3. The Wayans Bros. (1995-1999) John Witherspoon as John “Pops” Williams

John Witherspoon appeared in The Wayans Bros. as “Pops” for over nine seasons. During one of the show’s episodes, he tells a story of taking care of a dead rat. However, Marlon Wayans mistakes the rat for him and his brother, Shawn’s mother.

“I wrapped that stinker in some butcher paper. Dumped her right in the dumpster,” Witherspoon said. “Pops, how could you do something like that?” replied Marlon Wayans. “Well, you know how she was smelling when she was alive. You couldn’t imagine how she smelled when she started decomposing. She was funking up the whole house,” Witherspoon said.

4.Boomerang (1992) John Witherspoon as Mr. Jackson

In the 1992 cult classic film Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry, John Witherspoon portrayed David Alan Grier, who was Murphy’s best friend’s father Mr. Jackson. During an intimate dinner, Jackson embarrasses Grier with his stories regarding his wife’s cooking.

“All she do is cook pork. I bet we’ve eaten everything on a pig from the roota to the toota,” Witherspoon said.”You didn’t marry me for my cooking,” his wife replied. “You got that right baby. That’s why we got little Jr. over there,” Witherspoon continues. “Daddy, please!” Grier said, attempting to shut up Jackson.  “Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang!” Witherspoon shouts.

5. The Wayans Bros. (1996) John Witherspoon as John “Pops” Williams

During an episode of The Wayans Bros. titled “The Return of the Temptones” that aired in November of 1996,  John Witherspoon does a questionable performance after Shawn and Marlon Wayans finds his old diary, and they decide to reunite his favorite group The Temptones.

John Witherspoon Throughout The Years


Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.