Exclusive Launch Gallery inside the funeral Launch Gallery TMZ.com
John Witherspoon was a magnetic figure … so it’s no surprise most of Hollywood showed up to bid him one last goodbye.
The late comedian’s open-casket celebration of life went down Tuesday in L.A. in front of a huge gathering of friends, family and celebs alike. David Letterman commenced the celebration. He and John used to go way back … honing their craft together at The Comedy Store in Hollywood alongside Richard Pryor, Robin Williams and Jay Leno.
Ice Cube was one of several speakers and he paid a touching tribute … saying he enjoyed the hell outta John for as long as he could remember.
Play video content ONE OF THE FUNNIEST EVER TMZ.com
Some other celebrity guest speakers included Cedric the Entertainer, George Wallace, Angela Gibbs and Bill Bellamy. Regina King couldn’t make it but she did send along a video message that was played on the big screen.
Guests at the celebration of life received a colorful program adorned with John’s infectious smile. The back-page included one of his most famous lines from “Boomerang” … “BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!”
Play video content A FRIEND TO ALL TMZ.com
As we reported … John died suddenly last week after he went into cardiac arrest at his home in Sherman Oaks, CA. Whitherspoon’s career — which started in stand-up comedy — spanned more than 5 decades. His most notable role was playing the father of Ice Cube’s character, Craig, in all of the “Friday” movies.
The Witherspoon family’s asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Actors Fund or the Angela and John Witherspoon Family Foundation for the Arts.