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J.J. keeps crowd laughing

August 22, 1997

By KAREN MASTERSON

Staff Writer

Jimmie "J.J." Walker, of the acclaimed 1970s sitcom, "Good Times," kept the sold out crowd laughing Thursday night at the Barracuda Surf Bar.

"The problem with Bob Dole is he's not hip to the black man. He thought the top 10 men in black history were the Harlem Globe Trotters," said Walker, who is black.

Like with most comedians, Walker gave a no-holds-barred routine that poked fun at Marion Barry, homosexuals, women and sexual harrassment, O.J. Simpson and the Dallas Cowboys.

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"This year, where ever the Cowboys play, no white lines will be allowed on the field," referring to incidence of alleged cocaine abuse by the football team's players.

"I could have ended the (O.J.) trial in two minutes: bring in Judge Whopner," Walker said to screams of laughter.

The 50-year-old comedian was a definite crowd pleaser, as he cracked jokes for 45 minutes to 150 ticket holders. Each joke was met by laughter, whistles and shouts of "Go get `em, J.J.," from the boisterous audience.

But Walker said he prefers to go by Jimmie.

"The T.V. part was a tiny part of my career. I'm a stand up comedian first," he said, as he autographed $10 T-shirts, baring his face and name, Jimmie Walker.

"He's different on T.V. He's a lot taller and always has that hat on," said 76-year-old Betty Metz, of Hagerstown. Metz said she stays up until 1 a.m. every night to watch late reruns of "Good Times," and went to Barracuda's Thursday because Walker is her favorite comedian.

"I didn't appreciate that four-letter-word he used in public. But the show in general was nice," she said.

Jim Hamilton, 27 of Hagerstown, said he appreciated the many jokes Walker made about race, and said he did a good job of taking jabs at everyone and everything, including Hagerstown.

"I asked my agent, `If I go to Hagerstown, will that finish my community service,'" Walker quipped. He joked about the predominate white crowd at Barracuda's and said he anticipated it as he headed to town.

"I thought, I better get in touch in my white side ... get caucasionality. So I started listening to Neil Diamond."

Walker, the once 6-foot tall, 130-pound T.V. actor of "Dyn-o-mite" fame, has morphed in to a man of athletic build and little hair. At 50, he said he does shows seven days a week, 25 to 30 weeks out of the year.

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