‘Good Times’ ahead: TV star teams with local comedian for Edinburgh show

Dyn-o-mite!

She scarcely can believe her good fortune.

Columbus resident Jan Tatlock acknowledged she’s slightly stunned to be sharing a comedy show bill with classic TV actor and standup performer Jimmie “J.J.” Walker on Saturday at the Pixy Theatre, 111 S. Walnut St. in Edinburgh.

“This is just so amazing to me,” Tatlock said, who began doing standup five years ago as a sideline gig. “There’s no way I ever could have imagined opening for him.”

Her stage time began as a lark originally.

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“I told my friends when I turned 50 (five years ago), I was going to celebrate by doing something very far out of the box,” Tatlock said.

But comedy long has come naturally to Walker, 70. His standup work began in 1969.

He was best known in the mid-1970s for his catchphrase of “Dyn-o-mite!” on nearly every episode of the comedy “Good Times,” which ran from 1974 to 1979. He never grows weary of people asking about what became of his trademark utterance.

“It’s good that somebody likes something that you’ve done,” he said in a live chat on CNN two years ago. “There usually are enough things that people don’t like about you.”

These days, Walker jokes with audiences that he is old enough to recall “when (main network) TV actually would go off the air” every day and he “had to be the remote control for Dad.”

People tell him they still watch reruns of “Good Times” daily on cable networks, more than 40 years after it originally aired.

“That’s ridiculous,” he has told audiences, surprised that the show still can be found on the air.

He also has mentioned that some people seem surprised he travels about 40 weeks per year doing standup. Many people also seem to be unaware that he honed his humor on comedy stages with the likes of Richard Pryor and Robin Williams.

In a number of interviews through the past few years, he has said that he sees the comedy scene as “more segregated” regarding ethnicity and sexual orientation than during the 1960s and 1970s. He said clubs even are featuring Black Comedy Night, Latino Comedy Night and related groupings.

Perceptions seared into people’s consciousness can be tough to change — and he has made peace with that.

“I could go out (on stage) and do ‘Taming of the Shrew,’” he joked on one TV interview for the “Life After” series. “But it’s still gonna be J.J. up there.”

Laughing it up

Who: Opening comic Jan Tatlock of Columbus and Trent Mabry of Franklin. And former TV actor (from “Good Times”) and nationally touring standup performer Jimmie “J.J.” Walker

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Pixy Theatre, 111 S. Walnut St. in Edinburgh

Advance tickets: $12 to $29 (price is $5 more at the door), available at mhshows-com.seatengine.com/shows/60270

Information: 812-526-6513 or theedinburghpixy.com

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at bblair@therepublic.com or 812-379-5672.