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good times

Jimmy “J.J.” Walker at Broadway Comedy Club

Friday, May 1st, 2015

If you were around in the 70’s, 1973-1979 to be exact, then you were aware of Jimmy “J.J.” Walker who played J.J. Evans in the Norman Lear, CBS hit “Good Times”, with Esther Rolle who played JJ’s mom Florida Evans, and John Amos who played his dad Michael Evans.

Interestingly enough, Good Times was a spin-off of Maude, which was itself a spin-off of All in the Family along with The Jeffersons. And it was co-created by Mike Evans, who portrayed Lionel Jefferson on the Norman Lear-produced series All in the Family and The Jeffersons.

JImmy “J.J” Walker onstage at Broadway Comedy Club without a floppy hat, but making one of his signature faces!

At the time that JJ was on the show he played so much younger than he actually was that John Amos who played his Dad was only 8 years older than him!

JJ’s signature phrase was “Dyn-O-Mite!” which follows him to this day. And in my interview with him recently at Broadway Comedy Club where he showed up with his agent and my old friend Roger Paul, he said he was grateful for that tag, “Dyn-O-Mite”! Very few performers have something that sticks for so long. Like Rodney Dangerfield will always be associated with the phrase “No Respect.” In comedy having an identity like that is magical!

The main room downstairs was packed, wall to wall, and JJ went up on stage and knocked it out of the park. He talked about the economy being so bad that when you rent an apartment they want the first month’s rent and the last month’s rent. JJ was like, ” I wasn’t even here last month! Why do I gotta pay that guy’s rent?”

Jimmy “J.J.” Walker killing it onstage at Broadway Comedy Club! The audience loved him!

In talking about doing drug testing of post office employees, he said, “The one drug you won’t find is speed!”

And in talking about crime, he told of a 21 year old man who tried to rob a Toys ‘R Us with a toy gun. He was shot by a 5 year old with a real gun!

And he said, ” As crowded as jails are these days, they always seem to have room for Black people!”

He was just filled with funny lines. He said that Kim Kardashian is like Kryptonite for Black men, and that they tried to do a Real Housewives of San Francisco, but they couldn’t find any.

He even acted out scenes from a fictional Maury Povich show where the Black characters were named what sounded to me like Aquaneshia and Tyquarius, and he called “Cops” a Black reality show with a three tattoo minimum and a 4 tooth maximum.

I was so glad to see him being so funny after all these years. And he was so kind to his audience. He stayed afterwards to greet people who wanted to take photos and buy his merchandise.

Jimmy “J.J.” Walker and Jeffrey Gurian from Comedy Matters TV at Al Martin’s Broadway Comedy Club!

It just goes to show you that being funny is like riding a bike. You never lose it, and if you fall off the end of the stage you get right back up and start telling jokes again!

Check out the cool video interview we did after the show!

The post Jimmy "J.J." Walker at Broadway Comedy Club appeared first on Jeffrey Gurian.

Chat With An Old Friends

Friday, March 22nd, 2013
Last night in my yuck of self pity I went to the Duane Reade to get some supplies for my sickness. On the list were cough drops, bubble bath stuff, makeup to hide the dark circles under my eyes, oh and vitamins. Plus herbal tea for my throat. Between the singing and talking I do on the regular I need to heal my throat. I do everything you shouldn't do. My last few times behind the mic in the sound booth I have sounded like a fifty year old woman who smoked every damn day of her life.

As I was on my way I saw an old friend of mine. We ended up going to Starbucks and crashing. We kvetched about life. Me being sick, my grandmother's recent passing, and all that jazz. This particular friend got divorced again and his wives were demanding child support, and his first wife is a nag. But the cool part is that he just got in the paper for comedy. We talked about perhaps making videos together. We laughed about people we both knew and how nuts they were. One is a set of twins that is so insane they should win an award for that alone. One twin is famous, the other is less famous but takes credit for their success. It sounds like a movie. No, this is my life. As we were laughing I forgot I was sick. It was amazing. 

Actually we talked about possibly making videos together. Beyond amazing. 

Then when I finally got to Duane Reade I saw another old friend who was getting ready to do a presentation for his MBA class. We spoke for a few which was good and caught up. Then he gave me a Mother Theresa kiss. 

Bottom line, I am feeling better. Sometimes running into old friends puts a smile on your face and makes you to remember not to take life so seriously.

My grandmother always made friends everywhere she went and she was a spiritual woman who trusted God greatly. She always said God had a plan. And maybe whatever is up there, if it chooses to be called God, wanted me to get my ass out of the house.

Love
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Spring
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to RAINN

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