Unexpectedly, celebrities and the public alike are mourning the loss of actor and comedian John Witherspoon today. The icon with a storied career that showed no signs of slowing down died at the age of 77 Oct. 30, his family announced Wednesday morning.
The septuagenarian’s stand-up career began in the late 1970s, and he soon launched an acting career on TV and film. With a career spanning more than 40 years, his credits include “Hollywood Shuffle,” “Boomerang,” “The Boondocks” and “Black Jesus,” to name a few. Deadline reported it was also likely Spoons would have returned for the revival of “The Boondocks” on HBO Max.
Below are some of the late actor’s most iconic roles and his lines that induced laughter in many.
“Boomerang” — “You got to coordinate”
Witherspoon’s iconic line from the 1992 drama/romance “Boomerang” saw his character Mr. Jackson urge Eddie Murphy’s Marcus to get his clothing in the proper arrangement.
“The world has lost a true comedy legend and all around genuine soul, who paved the way for so many of us to be able to do what we love. My deepest condolences to John’s family. I know he’s already up there makin everyone laugh 🙏🏾 #rip #comedy #legend #JohnWitherspoon,” tweeted “Boomerang” actor Martin Lawrence.
“The Boondocks” — “N—a, hush”
When Huey pointed out just how much hypocritical Robert “Grandad” Freeman used the N-word, it resulted in one of the most oft-quoted lines from the Adult Swim series.
“Friday” — “Everytime I’m in the kitchen, you in the kitchen.”
There’s no doubt that the hilarity of the Ice Cube-starring 1995 hit comedy “Friday” would not be the same without Witherspoon’s Mr. Jones. His unabashed complaints to dumbfounded-looking Craig between chewing and hiding his grapes will forever be a staple of Witherspoon’s work.
“I’m devastated over the passing of John Witherspoon. Life won’t be as funny without him,” Cube tweeted early Wednesday of his former co-star.
“The Wayans Bros.” — “Bang, Bang, Bang”
As Pops on the 1990s sitcom “The Wayans Bros.,” Witherspoon further cemented the iconic phrase, “bang, bang, bang” and its corresponding hip-thrusting dance. Marlon Wayans, who played one of Witherspoon’s on-screen sons alongside his brother Shawn Wayans, posted several messages on Instagram remarking about his “TV dad.”
“I’m sad. Broken. Hurt.. yet extremely grateful to God that i got to spend 5 years of my life working with one of the funniest sweetest wisest humblest loving man,” he said in part.
“House Party” — “What the hell’s a Public Enema, anyway?”
Witherspoon’s portrayal of the neighbor Mr. Strickland in 1990’s “House Party” had viewers doubled over with laughter when he epically mispronounced the name of Public Enemy.
The comedy’s stars Kid n Play tweeted after the comedian’s passing, “You were a great neighbor our friend! R.I.P. John… thanks for your greatness!”