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Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Walker’

“Kindness is free.”
Writer/director Garry Marshall

Back in the ’70s Jimmy Walker was a comedian and actor at the height of his fame— famous for his role as J.J. on the hit show Good Times and his catchphrase Dy-no-mite!
But here’s a less known account that Men in Black screenwriter Ed Solomon tells about when he was a college student in 1979 and got a huge shot of encouragement from Walker:

“There was a comedian named Jimmy Aleck and I walked in the back area of The Comedy Store and I overheard Jimmy Aleck say to someone else that he didn’t take writers but Jimmy Walker was looking for writers. And Jimmy Walker performed that night. And I went up to him afterwards and I said, ‘Excuse me Mr. Walker, are you looking for writers?’ And he literally pats me on the head and says, ‘We’re always looking for writers, son.’ Pats me on the head, gives me a phone number and address of his head writer Gene Bronstein—really nice guy—and I went back to my dorm room and typed up on onion skin paper jokes I’d written in high school, some of those jokes I performed and failed [in open mic night at The Comedy Club], some new jokes—22 jokes I remember I sent. I remember the cover letter: ‘Dear Mr. Bronstein, enclosed please find 22 jokes for your and Mr. Walker’s perusal.’ Then sent them off. And two about weeks later I got an envelope with a check for a hundred bucks saying basically this is far in excess of what we pay for material (they bought two jokes) but Mr. Walker wanted to encourage you to keep writing. And that was November of 1979, and I was like holy sh—! I got paid to write. And then about a month later, I’m in the dorms. Packed in our dorm room and on a little tiny black and white TV that we had—that was my uncle Max’s that I brought down to UCLA—staying up until 3 AM to watch Don Kirshner’s rock concert where Jimmy Walker performs a joke. And he did the joke [that I wrote]. It was one of the highlights of my writing life.”
Screenwriter Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Mosaic)
The Moment with Brian Koppelman podcast

Related posts:
‘Helping others rarely hurts anyone, particularly yourself’-Ted Hope
The Kindness of Strangers 

Scott W. Smith

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