Jimmie Walker is the man in more ways than one and while it'd be easy to say he was "dy-no-mite," we actually think he's more like dyno-mighty. Mighty funny, mighty talented, and mighty inspirational when it comes to his comedic craft. Something else that's pretty cool about him is that he's pairing up for an incredible night that won't be filled with just laughs, there'll be music as well. You can get in on the good times Wednesday August 26th at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa and because JJ will be in town for one night only and we couldn't pass up the chance to talk to him, we engaged him in a little waxing on his career, both past and present.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I wanted to know how you felt about Letterman's show ending because I know you have a pretty long history with him.
Jimmie Walker: It was bittersweet for me. I'm very happy for Dave, he wanted out. He felt like he had done everything he could in late night. But also, I was very un-happy for myself because it is the end of my late career for a while because there are no shows for me to be on.
Ha! I highly doubt that! You clearly were one of his favorites though because you were on his show numerous times.
Well, Dave worked with me for many years in L.A. and I, along with some others, were friends of his. And unlike some others in late night, Dave stuck by his "old friends" and as the song goes, "that's what friends are for."
I heard a rumor that you once gave Letterman a job on your show. True or false?
No, I didn't give Dave a job on "Good Times," he was on my personal writing staff. But, I did get Jay Leno an episode on the show!
You're right, that's what friends are for! How different is your comedy from the iconic TV character you're best known for?
Well, sitcom comedy isn't as tough as stand-up. In sitcom land, you don't have to be as funny because it's a group effort. In stand-up, you have an immediate response and it's more violent and judgmental.
That is so true. You really ended up being an innovator for a lot of young black comics but did you ever expect that would happen? You know, to be such a "way paver?"
I don't think the "young black comics" would say that. Most of young urban comics worship Richard Pryor.
You're being too humble because you totally made an impact! Are there any young comics that you come across these days that you see doing the same thing?
The industry is much different now because agencies kinda rule comedy and decide who's going to do what. You need a good support staff, agent, luck, youth, and have to be in the right place at the right time. Being an ageist is very real at this time in the comedy business. I'm not sure how much talent has to do with it nowadays.
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I know you do some script writing so, any chance you'd create a show starring you? I'm hinting of course...
It would be difficult for me industry wise because I'm considered too old. I'm outta date, outta style, and I'm clean which isn't hip nowadays. I write all of the time and most comics don't write at all. They have the same act they've had for the last decade. It doesn't mean I'm not funny, it just means the industry looks at me as someone whose time has passed. Luckily, America likes me so that's why I continue to work over forty weeks a year.
Don't miss Jimmie Walker for Sunset Jazz at Newport on Wednesday August 26 at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. 900 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660. For tickets and info www.sunsetjazzatnewport.com or call (949) 759-5003. For more info on Jimmie check out his website www.DynomiteJJ.com.