On This Day In Comedy…. On June 11, Actor, Singer, Comedian Johnny Brown Was Born!




On this day in comedy on June 11, 1937 Actor, Singer, John “Johnny” Brown was born in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Brown established himself professionally as a Broadway performer in the Sammy Davis, Jr. musical, Golden Boy.  He played the part of Ronnie and was featured in one of the show stopping numbers.    Once he got that attention he landed the lead in a high profile national commercial for Papermate’s Write Brothers pen.    Brown headed the musical number where he had the role of the teacher showing his students why they should use the Write Brothers pen.  He also found film work in the movie The Out of Towners in 1970.

Known for his amiable persona, quick wit and easy going comedy style, Brown soon found himself on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.    That gig turned out to be a career break and killer.   Norman Lear had originally considered Brown to play the part of Redd Foxx’s son Lamont in Sanford and Son, but because of his Laugh-In commitment, Lear had to look elsewhere and cast Demond Wilson.      

Brown earned his sitcom success on Good Times.  The CBS Esther Rolle / John Amos vehicle was a smash hit and the character of building superintendent, Bookman, was a stand out.    That wasn’t easy with Jimmie Walker stealing most of the show.   Walker’s scenes were always guaranteed extra laughs though, whenever Bookman entered the apartment and became the butt of a lot of fat boy, big butt jokes.   However, Bookman also knew how to issue out jokes too and managed to often give as good as he got.

Once Good Times was cancelled in 1979, Johnny Brown made the guest-starring rounds.   He’d been seen previously on The Flip Wilson Show and he also did The Jeffersons, Family Matters, Martin and The Jamie Foxx Show.    Johnny Brown later appeared in the Eddie Murphy / Martin Lawrence film, Life in 1999.  

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton


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The Humor Mill Magazine is a on line digital magazine, website and TV show that’s about the Urban Comic & Urban Hollywood for the general audience. Its for comedians/actors who are looking for that outlet to be seen, and its also about the under-served Urban Hollywood scene. The Humor Mill Magazine features comedy, music and movie news, while we also discuss some important issues. We also feature comics who have been on the scene for a while but haven’t quite become a household name yet. We also feature articles on Hollywood actors who we see all the time but just don’t know their name yet. All that, plus what’s going down for the week in the latest issue, The Humor Mill covers it all as it keeps you IN THE KNOW!


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