Marlon Wayans fondly remembers John Witherspoon, his ‘second Pops’

Marlon Wayans

John Witherspoon starred with Marlon and Shawn Wayans in the “The Wayans Bros.’’ series on the WB network.

BY NARDINE SAAD
LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS

A “broken” and “hurt” Marlon Wayans paid tribute to his “second Pops” John Witherspoon after the death of his “Wayans Bros.” costar on Tuesday at age 77.

Despite Wayans’ sadness, however, the younger comic said on Instagram that he was “extremely grateful” that he spent five years of his life working with “the funniest sweetest wisest humblest loving man.”

On “The Wayans Bros.,” Witherspoon played wisecracking diner owner John Williams — affectionately known by his “Friday” movies moniker “Pops” — to brothers Marlon and Shawn Wayans. The comedy ran on the WB network (now the CW) for five seasons, from 1995 to 1999.

Wayans, 47, called Witherspoon his “second Pops” and spoke kindly of the comic’s family, particularly his sons Alexander and JD, who essentially grew up on the “Wayans Bros.” set.

“They’ll always be like my little brothers and sons. i will pass on all the jewels that you bestowed on to us,” he wrote. “Thank you God for the many many many laughs that we shared on and off the set. You got ‘all the keys’ and i know you got one to heaven’s gate.”

The actor then made good on his promise that anytime he wanted to laugh until he cried, he would rewatch (and re-post) clips from their wacky comedy. Wayans shared two such clips highlighting their over-the-top comedic chops on Wednesday.

“I miss already … . hope [you’re] dancing in heaven with ugly white shoes on. ‘Pops pops sugar pops,’” he wrote.

Reps for his brother Shawn Wayans did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

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