A&E » Arts

Funny guy JJ Walker doesn’t mince words


What: Comedy Night

Who: Jimmie Walker

Where: Buffalo Bill’s

When: June 19

Tickets: $10/advance, $12/door

Dyn-o-mite! That simple catch phrase has immortalized Jimmie Walker’s comedic career. As JJ on the television sitcom, Good Times, the gangly six-foot actor became a household name with his spontaneous physical humour. These days, Walker has returned to his stand-up roots on stage, touring relentlessly across North America.

Looking back on Good Times, it’s easy to draw a few similarities between Walker and his alter ego. Most will remember JJ as the kid loaded up in the laugh department, but not so lucky with the ladies. Walker is still the eternal bachelor, admitting that he’s "too self-centered and selfish" and just too boring to bother with dating. When he has spare time away from his heavy schedule, Walker is most happy as a homebody and has become an absolute news junkie.

Unlike the carefree and bafoonish JJ, Walker entertains some pretty serious thinking on and off stage. He’s very vocal about the death penalty, police and racism. Those topics sometimes slip into his comedy routine but out of the spotlight, Walker doesn’t mince words.

"What are (murderers) going to do when they get out, run a Fortune 500 company; come up with a cure for cancer?"

Ok, just a touch of humour there too. Walker has never had a problem tickling funny bones. Coming from the New York ghetto, it would have been easy to turn a grim face to the world. Despite dropping out of high school, Walker persevered, returning to attain his diploma equivalent. It was in that class that Walker found his true calling. He overcame some major grammatical stumbling blocks, and in the process discovered he was funny.

"Are you a comedian?" asked one classmate.

"I guess I am," he replied.