My good pal, Jimmie Walker‘s book: DYN-O-MITE, GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES, OUR TIMES is out Tuesday…
it’s getting nice reviews and lots of media attention, including the Hollywood Reporter, Washington Post and yes, even the Kansas City Star‘s Lisa Gutierrez did a nice piece on the book. However Lisa, who’s covered Stanford’s and me, missed the local angle.
The book is written by KING OF STING co author, Sal Manna. It’s on the back cover of the book. More importantly, there’s an interesting story about Kansas City, Fox 4 and Stanford’s in the book by this legendary comedy icon.
The book is a bible on the 1970’s and on the men and women who worked with Jimmie and to a large extent made comedy on TV what it is today. Stories about his staff include Jay Leno, David Letterman and even the late Freddie Prince.
Believe it or not, Walker started his career on TV with the Tonight Show with Jack Paar.
There’s a story about when Prince was dating Lenny Bruce‘s daughter, Kitty. He took her to her father’s gravesite and had sex with her on her father’s grave. Prince said he could hear Bruce yell out from the grave, "Go man, fuck her!"
Jimmie talks about how he paid Letterman 150 bucks a week as a comedy writer.
And how Letterman had trouble with sex jokes. In fact there is a famous photo in the book of the Walker Team, that includes, Letterman, Jay Leno, Norman Lear, even Bud Freidman.
Fox 4 had Jimmie on as a guest in the 90’s.
Walker was playing Stanford’s in Westport and it was cold and snowy. Jimmie and his young opening act were wearing heavy coats and hoods covering their heads. They went into the wrong door at TV 4 and it put them in a production area that was off limits. A security guard came up behind them and seeing two black men, he grabbed Jimmie and said, "Hey, you guys don’t belong back here, what in the hell are you doing?"
Walker took off his hood and turned around. When the guard saw it was Jimmie Walker he said, "Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was you, Mister Walker."
Later when Jimmie went on air he ambushed the host when asked about racism. Walker said, "You got it right here..right here at Fox 4!"
He then told the story of the guard and what had happened. It all went out live. And the next day Hearne wrote a front page story about it in the Star. The story got picked up in other cities and by Hard Copy. We’ve not been on Fox 4 much since.
The book, which looks like it will be a best seller, came together this way: Jimmy and I are tight, talk often, and email each other almost weekly. He told me a few years back he wanted to write his story. He’d written a proposal, but agents thought it was too light.
I told him about my co-author Sal Manna and what a great job he had done on King of Sting. We all met in Vegas in 2008 and hung out for nearly a week. Boy, do I remember that week.
We stayed at Hooters, never do that again.
Walker lives there and Jimmie talked me into walking instead of driving to the MGM next door. It was 121 degrees and we almost didn’t make it. Sal and Jimmie hit it off right away, so Sal wrote the book, sold it more than a year ago and it’s coming out next week. Stanford and Sons has been in several books lately besides these two, including Saturday Night Live comic Darrell Hammond‘s new book.
Jimmie will be on the TODAY SHOW Tuesday, Letterman Monday and tons more. Walker’s been named one of America’s Top 25 comedy icons of all time by several groups including People Magazine.
Walker never left the biz after Good Times, doing more than 20 other TV Shows including stints as a regular on Scrubs and often on Everyone Hates Chris. He’s done stand up in Vegas and all over the world. He’s hosted TV awards events and been in several films. His comedy on THE DEAN MARTIN ROASTS play to this day.
And GOOD TIMES was still on Nick at Nite as recently as two years ago, can you believe it?
Walker’s a living comedy legend. Remember, he was the first young black man to have his own hit comedy TV series. Sanford and Son came first, but Redd Foxx was an older guy. Hey, what a great idea for a comedy club name, Sanford and Son. Except my dad’s name is Stanford….wait a minute…STANFORD AND SONS.
Jimmie Walker will return to Stanford and Sons in February.