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Dyn-o-mite!: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times--A Memoir

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Overview

Raised in the South Bronx projects, Jimmie Walker made his way out of the perilous ghetto thanks to an ability to make people laugh. Performing in small clubs alongside friends such as Richard Pryor, Freddie Prinze, David Brenner, and Richard Lewis; opening for Black Panther rallies; and emceeing at the Apollo and for Motown tours, he was a young, brash stand-up comedian for a new generation.

By landing the role of J.J. Evans on Good Times, Walker became an icon of the ’70s and ...

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Dynomite!: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times--A Memoir

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Overview

Raised in the South Bronx projects, Jimmie Walker made his way out of the perilous ghetto thanks to an ability to make people laugh. Performing in small clubs alongside friends such as Richard Pryor, Freddie Prinze, David Brenner, and Richard Lewis; opening for Black Panther rallies; and emceeing at the Apollo and for Motown tours, he was a young, brash stand-up comedian for a new generation.

By landing the role of J.J. Evans on Good Times, Walker became an icon of the ’70s and beyond. The first young black sitcom star — dubbed “the black Fonzie” — his catchphrase “Dyn-o-mite!” remains an often-quoted indicator of the era. As the show’s breakout star, he navigated the pressures of a pop culture popularity that rendered J.J. into a talking doll (pull the string!). At the same time, he was the epicenter of a major controversy over black stereotypes. Walker candidly remembers the communication breakdowns on the set that contradicted the show’s image of a close-knit, blue-collar family. Meanwhile, he worked at his craft, including hiring then-unknowns David Letterman and Jay Leno to write jokes for him. When the Late Night War erupted, Walker had a uniquely personal perspective that he writes about here for the first time.

In Dyn-o-mite! he also reveals, in characteristic bemused if lacerating fashion, the lessons he’s learned along the way about self-reliance, freedom of speech (the n-word and more), and belief in the individual — subjects he frequently talks about on talk radio and television. Imparting a vivid, insiders’ look at the edgy scene of the ’70s and ’80s, perhaps the most groundbreaking and vibrant era in comedy history, Walker paints a portrait of the life and times of a quintessential road comic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews, 4/15/12
“A fast, funny and informative stand-up routine/memoir from one of the major comic stars of the 1970s…A unique perspective on the perils of modern comedy from a survivor with a long memory.”
 

Publishers Weekly, 5/21/12
“A solid, thoughtful, and provocative memoir about [Walker’s] nearly four-decade long career.”

Spittake.com, 6/27/12

“Without a healthy dose of humility, he couldn’t draw such a painfully honest portrait of life as a comic on the road. Whatever his reputation, he has persevered, and his story is thought-provoking and well worth the read.”

Kingman Daily Miner“A dyn-o-mite read about a true pop culture icon and comedy legend…This is a fun read, a book, which you will remember, and one that might make you stop and pause for a moment as you ponder some of his pithy sayings. This is a five star book and one you will want on your bookshelf.”

American Profile, 8/12/12“Paints a revealing self-portrait that also depicts the changing times of a socially charged era….It’s a dyn-o-mite read.”

Cleveland.com, 10/2212
“[An] immensely insightful, humorous memoir.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469203072
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 6/1/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jimmie Walker

Jimmie Walker was born in 1947 in New York City. He began performing during the golden age of stand-up comedy before reaching pop culture immortality on the landmark sitcom Good Times. He continues to tour the country doing stand-up while living in Las Vegas. DynomiteJJ.com

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Table of Contents

Foreword David Brenner ix

1 Our Times 1

2 I'm from the Ghetto 5

3 Stand-up for the Panthers 31

4 Making It in New York 55

5 Kid Dyn-o-mite! 83

6 I Am Not J.J. 111

7 The Whipping Boy 129

8 Freddie, Richard, Andy, Mitzi, and Budd 161

9 A Black Sheep among Black People 185

10 The Late-Night War 213

11 The N-Word 233

12 On the Road 253

Acknowledgments 265

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Ks scavengers hunt

    Good now search dreamland

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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