Earl "Pops" Johnson is a main character in Black-ish.

Pops is portrayed by Laurence Fishburne.

Character Info

Dre's father, affectionately referred to as "Pops," has an affinity for velour tracksuits and going to the racetrack. He can be quite the curmudgeon and takes every opportunity to offer his opinion on family issues. But when Pops offers his usually curt and spot-on old school wisdom, it is difficult to disagree with him.


Pops is a blunt, wry, and state-the-obvious kind of individual. There are several drastic views on his personality from everyone in his family. Ruby views him as a good-for-nothing husband and father, most of which is censored out of the show, while his grandchildren look up to and idolize him (there’s only a few exceptions). He likes to belittle Junior to a certain degree (albeit much less than Dre), though this is to rub the failure of his son in his eyes. He frequently expresses some concern about Diane, like everyone else, and is the only one who doesn’t mock Jack about his lack of intelligence (most of the time). He enjoys gambling with his friends (most of which are in prison, save for Smokey) and he’s mentioned many times to have a drinking problem. If anyone’s in a pinch or need of advice, he is more than willing to come forward with his wisdom.


Season 1 (11/24)


  • He shot his foot just to get out of the navy.
  • He takes Afrin, and has been doing it for thirty years.
  • He has a dent in his head from a granny smith apple Ruby used to hit him.
  • His treatment of his son mirrors how Dre treats Junior.
  • He loves fried chicken.
  • He has a gun.
  • Pops used to work at a mattress firm before he got fired.
  • He is a master of gun-fu.
  • He knows how to use nunchucks.
  • Pops pretended to fix TVs when in reality, he stole them.
  • He had a car he used to call Black Beauty, which he later on traded for a boat. But that boat was blown up by Ruby.
  • Most of his friends are in jail, except for Smokey.
  • He tends to spend most of his time at the track.
  • He moved to L.A. because of a hit-and-run.
  • He went scotch-tasting with Rhonda.
  • He’s not allowed in Canada for unknown reasons.
  • Pops owns a sword.
  • His favorite thing is money.
  • He thinks that any food baked is too white.
  • Pops’ favorite grandchild is Diane.
  • Bow is his favorite woman in the family and he loves her more than Dre.
  • He doesn’t trust banks.
  • Pops knows the man who invented Kwanzaa. And, according to Pops, the man owes him $35.


To view the Earl Johnson gallery, click here.

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