by Tony Jones
Special to the Tri-State Defender
It might be hard to believe, but the character on the Mo Money commercials is not acting.
Straight up. His name is Johnny C and what you’ve seen of him on the screen is exactly the same person you get when you talk to him. If he is acting, they need to name a special Oscar after him.
“Yo, what got all this started was me and Markey (Granberry) hooked up when I was trying to buy a car and we got to be boy right off the bat,” Johnny C screamed through the phone.
“He was selling some big ole’ car and when I came up, I’m a trip down here in the ‘Sip (he lives in Mississippi), he saw all this old school hip hop stuff I had in the car. The real deal, like Todd Shaw, that’s Too Short to white people that don’t understand. That was before Calvin Broadus got to be Snoop, know what I’m saying?”
The pair vibed up immediately and C became the manager for the rap group Granberry was in at the time.
“They had the worst line you ever heard,” said C, then throws out a few lines. “The group was called I-C-K, the worst rap group in history.”
Granberry laughed, but said it wasn’t that awful.
Asked to come out of character to discuss what he does for a living, this is how C replied: “Aw naw, I get into character when I have to go out and work. I’m a salesman. I sell anything you want. What do you want to buy?”
And on and on it kept coming.
“That first commercial, man it was whacked,” C remembered. “We were sitting there trying to be funny, and finally I came up with, ‘It’s on like a pot of neckbones!’ And Markey said that was it and he was right. They (the film crew) always have a script and stuff and it never comes out right. I have to rewrite it because they’re not as funny as I am.”
That’s really how it works,” said Mo Money’s Derrick Robinson. “We all know each other so well, it’s the camera filming us having fun. Markey and I do almost everything together and that’s how the commercials came up. We wanted something that would speak to our market, the young hip-hoppers and the blue-collar people. That’s us and that’s what we were trying to achieve. We’re just glad it worked.”
C gets the close.
“And make sure you get a good picture of me. I’ve lost over 100 pounds. I have a personal trainer that comes in every day. I’m way sexy now.”