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Dewey 'Pigmeat' Markham
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    His nickname came from a stage routine where he referenced himself as ‘Sweet Poppa Pigmeat.’
    Thanks to racial segregation, his early work was relegated mainly to what was then known as the ‘chitterlings circuit.’
    While at the Apollo Theater, he would often appear in blackface with white around his mouth, fueling rumors that he was a honkie (think Ted Danson’s profile picture).
    Had Sammy Davis Jr. not appeared on Laugh-In, his routine – which spoofed formal courtroom etiquette – might have become an afterthought.
    Some of the earliest foundations for rap music came from his signature song — where he pronounced ‘here’ like he came from New England.
    He traveled the southern ‘race’ circuit alongside Bessie Smith.
    Inspired by Davis’ performance, he spent a season performing his signature Judge routine on, and seeing at least two of his catch-phrases adopted by, Laugh-In.
    The ‘Justus O’Peace’ character on Hee Haw was inspired by his Judge character.
    He had more appearances at the Apollo Theater than almost any other black act.
    Some of his film roles credit him as ‘David’ instead of ‘Dewey’ (always an improvement).
    The street in the district where his family lived came to be officially named after them.

Credit: Cool It All Right?

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