Last week, Hollywood lost one of the funniest and hardest-working men when John Witherspoon (77) died from cardiac arrest. The news of his passing shocked the entertainment world. All of his friends, family, and colleagues immediately shared how much of an impact he had on their lives. Tuesday (Nov.6) Black Hollywood’s elite and his family gathered to say goodbye to Witherspoon at his “Celebration of Life” service.
Witherspoon’s Friday co-star Ice Cube, Cedric The Entertainer, George Wallace, Bill Bellamy, and David Letterman all spoke at the funeral service. Regina King, who voices both Huey and Riley Freeman on The Boondocks couldn’t attend, a video of her sharing words about the late actor was played for attendees instead.
Ice Cube, during his speech, touched on Witherspoon’s uncanny ability to make the most out of script no matter how bad it was:
“Laughter is the medicine for our mind, body, and soul. It helps us get through this crazy world, and God bless the ones that make us laugh. John was naturally funny. No matter how bad a script was, [there] was nothing you could do to harness John’s funny. It was going to come through. He was going to turn it into magic, and that was his true gift.”
Marlon Wayan’s who played Pops’ son on the hit sitcom The Wayan’s Bros., also couldn’t attend due to work. He said his goodbye to Witherspoon in a heartwarming Instagram post.
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Can’t make your send off Pops… I’m broken up about it. Unfortunately, have to work. I know you would tell me “mahlon, go get that PAPER! You better go get them keys 🔑 see… you got a comedy key, a sitcom key 🔑 a movie key 🔑 , a stand up key 🔑… now go get that drama key 🔑 now you gonna unlock 🔐 all that PAPER”. I’ll always hear you. I’m glad every time we said goodbye it was always with a fatherly hug and kiss. So that’s the goodbye I’ll leave it with. #ripPOPS @johnnywitherspoon playing some Johnny Mathis “chances are” in your honour
Others in attendance include Shawn Wayans, Garrett Morriss, Kym Whitley, Tiny ‘Zeus’ Lister, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, F. Gary Gray, Robert Townsend, Tamala Jones, Don DC Curry and more.
A fitting service for a legend, rest in power Pops.
Photo: Johnny Louis / Getty