After years of making people laugh as a stand up comedian, John Witherspoon is now earning a wonderful reputation as a "scene stealer" on both the big and small screen. John has co-starred with Eddie Murphy in "Vampire in Brooklyn," directed by Wes Craven and, he can also be seen every week playing Pops on "The Wayans Brother," which airs on the WB network.
In the early 70s, before there was a comedy club boom, John was performing side by side with Tim Reid, Marsha Warfield, Sandra Bernhard, Robin Williams, Jay Leno and David Letterman. David and John shared a mutual love of tennis and basketball and soon became best friends with a friendship that continues to this day. In fact, John has made more than two dozen appearances on the Letterman show. Letterman is also the Godfather to Johns son John David.
During this dame time, John kept himself busy as an actor with appearances on the "Richard Pryor Show," "Good Times" and "Whats Happening" and in the films "The Jazz Singer" with Neil Diamond and "Ratboy" with Sandra Locke and Robert Townsend. It was during the filming of "Ratboy" that John was given his first opportunity to ad-lib in front of the camera. Johns natural gift would come in handy when he was asked to co-star in Robert Townsends "Hollywood Shuffle" which had no script.
It was this ability to improvise and to create characters that were so real to life that John became much sought after for the movies. Up next, John has roles in "Im Gonna Get You Sucka" and "House Part" where director Reginald Hudlin said to John, "Say whatever you want and do whatever you want to do."
With all this good buzz around the industry, John was Eddie Murphys only and obvious choice to play David Alan Griers father in "Boomerang." To quote Eddie Murphys own words, "I need Spoon!" For his role, John was a character created and outfitted out of his own imagination. He stole everything but the scenery. John gave movie audiences the hilarious catch phrase; "You must know how to coordinate."
So it should come as no surprise that Eddie Murphy asked John to appear in "Vampire in Brooklyn." Again, John knew exactly how he wanted the to play the films character and showed up at the table reading in costume. The only thing John was asked by director Wes Craven was, "is it going to be 2 or 10 minutes? I need to know haw long to keep the camera on you." Johns efforts paid off again. The Orange County Register said, "Witherspoon is one of these performers who doesnt need a funny line to be funny; just standing there in a truculent posture with a suspicious look, he is funny, and enlivens every scene he is in."
John will be the first to tell that the characters that he portrays in the television and in the movies are just that, characters. John has a fine appreciation for clothes, art, history and traveling.