Jimmie Walker’s Memoirs Reveal How Leno Stole Jokes and Turned his Back on those that Helped him To Success
Jimmie Walker has released a memoir and during an interview with the NY Post he preceded to fire shots at Jay Leno giving a small taste of what is in his book. Walker basically believes that once Jay Leno made it big, he forgot about all the little people that got him there. There is a whole chapter in his memoir dedicated to “the Leno” situation.
Walker said that he is stunned and hurt at Leno’s behavior, even stating that Leno stole jokes and drove a fellow comedy writer to suicide. Walker said that Leno segregated comedy,
“Because of Jay Leno, we have changed and segregated comedy. In his however many years on the air, he has not broken one comic.”
During another interview with the Washington Post, Walker was asked if he missed his relationship with Leno. His response was,
I am extremely happy for his success. I believed in Jay Leno. I believe that Jay Leno, at one time, was one of the best comics, if not the best in America. And I made no bones about that when I would talk to Norman Lear or talk to anybody from the networks.
But his image has always been of this outgoing, great guy. Now his friends are Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks, these kinds of guys, but they weren’t with him when we were driving to Claremont or San Diego — five people in a car going to do a comedy club — they weren’t there. So it’s very disappointing that he has kind of shunned us. I don’t think he even knows our names now.
(I can’t help but read the quotes in the JJ voice).
At one time believe it or not, Jay Leno actually worked for Jimmie Walker. He was one of Walker’s joke writers earning $150 per week and even guest appeared on an episode of Good Times.
Walker’s Book: Dyn-o-Mite, The good times, Bad Times, Our Times, is available on Amazon. The most interesting thing about the memoir that Jimmie Walker was 25 Years old when he was cast to play the high aged JJ Evans making him over 30 during the airing of the final episode.
Here is Leno back in the 70′s on Good times.
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