John Witherspoon's passing hit the nation like a winter wind. Shock and sadness was followed by celebration and remembrance. The late comedian left a mark on millions of people, but his bond with Shawn Wayans was special. While at Witherspoons' memorial at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California on Tuesday (November 5), Shawn Wayans told an anecdote about the only person he's heard say something negative about Pops.
“I can’t find anybody that has anything bad to say about John Witherspoon,” Wayans said. “Actually, (there’s) only one person I’ve seen talk sideways about John. And it wasn’t in like a bad way. We’re all comedians. So, comedians just be popping noise off – we’re crazy like that... So we’re at the Laugh Factory and John Witherspoon is on, and he’s killing. Me and Paul Mooney is in the back. John’s on stage doing his Mick Jagger impersonation, just destroying the whole place. And Paul Mooney’s back there – he gotta go on next – and he leans over and says, ‘Pancakes homie, pancakes. Everyone loves pancakes.’"
“And what he was trying to say is, ‘Spoon is hilarious but he don’t got no edge," continued Shawn. "Now I disagree. But the one thing I’ll agree with is that everyone does love pancakes. Look at everybody here to see this man off.” Shawn also revealed that NBC didn't want to hire Witherspoon for the classic sitcom The Wayans Bros. “We didn’t care, we was like, ‘That’s our pops. That’s it. Take it or leave it.’ So, uh, the show didn’t get picked up on NBC. But they dangled that carrot in front of us. They wanted us to hire a different dad. Actually, they wanted us to hire Danny Glover. But we couldn’t see him on there telling me and Marlon, ‘get in here; I’m getting too old for this mess.”