Actor and comedian John Witherspoon died yesterday. Witherspoon was best known for his roles in the Friday films and for voicing Granddad on The Boondocks. He also had a YouTube page where he created the Cooking For Poor People series of videos. After taking a year off, Witherspoon returned to the series with a new video released the day before his death. In the video, Witherspoon makes “Poor Man’s Gumbo,” going over the step-by-step recipe while offering his takes on some current events and political issues, including the incarceration of some black celebrities but not others and the president’s desire to build a border wall.
"Somebody build Mr. Trump a wall. I'm so sick of this s—-. Everybody wants a wall to stop all the Mexicans. Give 'em a wall," he says in the video. "I had a wall built at my house about 2 weeks ago. I started to call the White House, 'Tell Trump to come and watch this wall being built!" You can watch the full video above.
Witherspoon’s family revealed that he had died via a social media post on Tuesday. “It is with deepest sorrow that we can confirm our beloved husband and father, John Witherspoon, one of the hardest working men in show business, died today at his home in Sherman Oaks at the age of 77,” Witherspoon’s family said in a statement provided to Deadline. “He is survived by his wife Angela, and his sons JD, Alexander, and a large family. We are all in shock, please give us a minute for a moment in privacy and we will celebrate his life and his work together. John used to say ‘I’m no big deal’, but he was huge deal to us.”
Witherspoon remained a touring stand-up comedian up until his death. He was best known for his role in Friday and its sequels, Next Friday and Friday After Next, playing Ice Cube’s father. He was expected to reprise his role for the long-gestating fourth Friday film, Last Friday. His other film credits also include Hollywood Shuffle, Boomerang, Vampire In Brooklyn, I'm Gonna Get You Sucka, House Party, and Soul Plane. In addition to The Boondocks, his television credits include appearances on The Richard Pryor Show, The Incredible Hulk, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Living Single, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tracy Morgan Show, Black-ish, Black Dynamite, and Black Jesus.