James Carter “Jimmie” Walker (born June 25, 1947) is an American actor and stand-up comedian, known for portraying J. J. Evans on the television series Good Times, which ran from 1974 to 1979. While on the show, Walker’s character was known for the catchphrase, “Dy-no-mite!”, which he also used in his mid-1970s TV commercial for a Panasonic line of cassette and 8-track tape players.
Walker was born in The Bronx, New York. He is a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School in New York City. Through a federal program known as SEEK, or “Search for Education, Evaluation, and Knowledge”, he continued his studies and entered into the field of radio engineering with WRVR.
As a young man, Walker was a vendor at Yankee Stadium, starting with the 1964 World Series. He was given a silver dollar by Mickey Mantle, which he still has. Walker was very friendly with Gary Cohen, who went on to be operations manager at Yankee Stadium. In 1967, Walker began working full-time with WRVR, the radio station of the Riverside Church. According to an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show on June 27, 2012, Walker stated he has never been married and has never had any children.
Show business career
In 1969, Walker began performing as a stand-up comedian and was eventually discovered by the casting director for Good Times, after making appearances on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In and on the Jack Paar Show. He eventually released one stand-up comedy album during the height of his “Good Times” popularity: “Dyn-o-mite” on Buddah Records (5635).
During Good Times’ 1974â75 season, Walker was 26 years old, though his character was much younger. (John Amos, the actor who portrayed Walker’s father on Good Times, was in real life just eight years older than Walker.) Walker was 32 years old when the show ended its run at the end of the 1978â79 season.
He also starred in Let’s Do It Again with Amos, and The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened with James Earl Jones.
Walker appeared on The Tonight Show and Match Game during the 1970s and early 1980s. He also appeared on the 1990 revival of Match Game and other various game shows during that era.
Walker has made guest appearances on Badge 373, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, The Larry Sanders Show, Son of the Beach, The Drew Carey Show, The John Larroquette Show, In the House, Cagney & Lacey, The Fall Guy, Scrubs, Star Dates, Everybody Hates Chris, George Lopez, Chelsea Lately and Lincoln Heights. He also appeared in films such as Airplane! and the parody Plump Fiction.
Aside from guest appearances, he starred in the short-lived television series At Ease in 1983 and Bustin’ Loose in 1987.
In the 1990s, Walker returned to his radio roots hosting shows on WHIO, WOAI, WLS, and KKAR.
In 2010, Walker made a cameo appearance in the movie Big Money Rustlas. In 2011, Walker did a Syfy channel movie Super Shark.
Walker continues to tour the country with his stand-up comedy routine.