Comedian John Witherspoon is Featured at SUNY New Paltz Homecoming
NEW PALTZ -- John Witherspoon, who co-starred with Eddie Murphy in the Paramount Pictures release, Vampire in Brooklyn, and can be seen weekly in the role of "Pops" on WB Network's The Wayans Brothers, will appear on the SUNY New Paltz campus, Saturday, October 16, at 8 p.m. in Julien J. Studley Theatre.
In the early 70s and prior to the comedy club boom, Witherspoon was performing alongside Tim Reid, Marsha Warfield, Sandra Bernhard, Robin Williams, Jay Leno, and David Letterman. He has made more than two dozen appearances on the Letterman show.
At the same time he was performing stand-up comedy, Witherspoon was involved with a number of acting roles, including appearances on the Richard Pryor Show, Good Times, and What's Happening. He also appeared in films, such as The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond, and Ratboy with Sandra Locke and Robert Townsend. His role in Ratboy led to a co-starring -- and ad lib -- role in Robert Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle.
His ability to improvise and create real-to-life characters made him a much sought after actor and landed him roles in I'm Gonna Get You Sucka and House Party, in which director Reginald Hudlin told Witherspoon, "Say whatever you want and do whatever you want to do."
Similarly, for Eddie Murphy's film, Boomerang, Witherspoon created, from his wild imagination, the character of David Alan Grier's father. Murphy followed Boomerang with Vampire in Brooklyn, directed by Wes Craven. Again, Witherspoon developed and costumed the character.
The Orange County Register said of Witherspoon, "[He] is one of those performers who doesn't 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."
Tickets are $7.00 general admission and $5.00 for students, faculty and staff and are available, in advance, October 13-15, at the McKenna Theatre Box Office, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and at the door the evening of the performance.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.