The late John Witherspoon’s son claims he was passed on for the role, which is now being split between an actor and voice-altering technology.
With a reboot of The Boondocks just months out from premiering, it’s been unclear who will voice the late John Witherspoon’s beloved Grandad in the series or how the show’s creators are navigating two new season without the comedian’s voice. Rumors swirled late last year that Grandad’s character might be replaced with his wise-cracking sister, reportedly eying Jennifer Lewis for the role.
But according to Witherspoon’s son, JD, the show had an opportunity to cast him, a veteran voice actor who happens to do an impossibly accurate impression of his father, as a successor. In a pair of explanatory videos posted to Youtube this week, JD details (with receipts and all,) the rocky auditioning process for the role and provides a detailed timeline of how he was recruited for a tryout at his father’s funeral, just after eulogizing him with a grip of stories and reminiscences. Witherspoon’s son goes on to describe being in the booth, running through lines from the reboot’s pilot episode and how he was ghosted for weeks and months at a time following the audition, only to learn that he’d been passed on for the role. JD claims that instead of casting a voice actor to portray Grandad in the upcoming seasons, The Boondocks will rely on a combination of VA from an unnamed actor and deep-fake-ish technology to bend their voice to pitch and tone. JD also clarified that his father never recorded any lines for the new seasons, but that production on the series was well underway.
Two new Boondocks seasons and a 50-minute special were announced in September of last year after a handful of new comic panels surfaced via Instagram. How the COVID-19 pandemic plays into both its plot and a premiere date is still pretty cloudy. Suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.
Watch JD Witherspoon tell all in the video above.