Remembering John Witherspoon and His Legendary TV and Movie Performances

It is never easy to say goodbye to the legends that have helped shaped our definition of pop culture. For the better part of several generations, John Witherspoon has been a fixture of the black community. He has played in several high profile roles on the big and small screen that have been many people’s bible to black culture and family. On October 30, 2019, he was pronounced dead. While his death is a tragedy and shall take him away from this Earth, his legacy will surely continue to live on. Below is a look at three of his greatest contributions to black culture that will be eternal stepping stones to black culture.

“The Wayan Brothers”

One of the most popular television shows of the late 90s featured the Wayan Brothers giving their proper introduction to audiences from 1995-1999. But make no mistake about it, without their infamous Pop, the success that they experienced would have only been into a fraction. With his natural witty ways, and charismatic humor, there was no one person that could’ve filled the void and played this role greater than Witherspoon. Future generations will never be able to live the waiting daily to learn fatherhood from his sharp ways.

“The Tracey Morgan Show”

Similar to his role on the Wayan Bros, Witherspoon continued to showcase his versatility as a comedian with his immaculate sense of humor and relation. Morgan is quite the catch himself on the funny side, but he certainly benefited from the constant flashes of Witherspoon in front of the camera that warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide.


Perhaps the most known of Witherspoon’s contributions is his role as the father in the black classics “Friday”, “Next Friday”, and “Friday After Next”. Acting like the image of what we all recognize as that crazy father or over the top uncle, we felt like he was raising us as we watched these films. He made us laugh. He scolded us for the mistakes that we thought we were making through the characters of Craig and Smokey. And most of all, we learned that guns don’t make us a man, standing up for ourselves does. That goes twice over when it comes to using the restroom. This role will forever serve as one of the most consistent examples of positive black father role models in a society searching for chances to bring those rare positive images into nightmares of reality. 

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