Legendary stand-up comedian, world-renowned actor, rapper and vanguard in an elite category of professionally-touring comics, KATT WILLIAMS has developed a career seeded with thousands of stage shows in sold-out arenas, a laundry list of starring roles on the small screen and memorable performances in major box office hits. As he approaches his 20th anniversary in the business, the veteran entertainer known for his insightful, often polarizing material gears up to embark on his next tour with a renewed sense of self, yet the exact same mode of operation that turned the once emancipated teenager into a household name— comedy on his own terms.
In 2018, Williams has returned to the stage renewed. The long-awaited rebirth of the beloved comedian is more than a reinvention, and the Katt with seemingly more than nine lives, is set to hit the road with a kind of vigor found only in newly-awakened individuals. On Tuesday, January 16th Netflix will premiere the original stand-up comedy special Katt Williams: Great America. In this special, the polarizing and over-the-top poster figure for hard truth and underground comedy reflects on the current political climate, racial tensions in America, and his disdain of roast beef.
On the big screen, Katt can currently be seen starring in theWarner Bros. film Father Figures, starring alongside Owen Wilson and Ed Helms. He also recently wrapped production opposite Mike Epps in the follow-up film to Meet the Blacks – The House Next Door. The pairing of Epps and Williams marks a reunion for the two comedians who last starred together in New Line’s 2002 Friday After Next.
Marking his will mark his solid return to the business of comedy, Williams has recently been cast in the comedic film #twominutesoffame a Lionsgate/CodeBlack feature comedy fused to the studio’s Laugh Out Loud streaming network. Katt will star alongside Jay Pharoah and Keke Palmer. Pharoah will play an up-and-coming social media sensation who becomes a viral star and goes to Hollywood to try his hand at stand-up. Katt plays that reigning king of comedy.
A Katt Williams stand-up show is more than a guaranteed belly laugh. As one of this generation’s rare urban public officials, Williams guarantees his audience an experience that will encourage further conversation after his curtain closes—it’s an articulate, sharp dialogue that surfaces with names like Trump, Cosby and NASA, but is rooted in evergreen conversations like politics, race relations and police brutality— all a mere (and mirror) reflection of the American political landscape.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Katt grew up in Dayton. Always the strong-willed, self-motivated young man, Williams became emancipated early in his teens and moved himself to Florida where he worked as a door-to-door salesman. It wasn’t long before a teenage Williams had his first stand-up experience, thrilling a crowd with a five-minute improv routine, much to his surprise. That’s when he knew. Williams, having searched his entire adolescence for a sense of purpose, discovered the rich fulfillment in making people smile, even if just for those five minutes.
Encouraged by his early success, Williams committed himself to fine-tuning his God-given talent— a unique comedic delivery audiences had not yet witnessed— by performing his routines in clubs all over the country. By 1999, he had become an established comic, playing amongst the Greats (Martin Lawrence, Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock), taking center stage at the most renowned stages in the U.S.: The Improv, The Comedy Club, The Icehouse, etc. and doing what no other stand-up comic was doing— cultivating an authentic friendship with his audience. When he realized he was beginning to gain a loyal fan base, he made a smooth transition into film and television.
Williams first found himself on the small screen in 2002, as a guest star on NYPD Blue, swiftly followed by The Tracy Morgan Show, My Wife and Kids, The Boondocks and countless other hit series. 2002 was a year of many “firsts” for the triple-threat, as Williams also debuted on the big screen for the first time, playing “Money Mike” in Friday After Next. The film was an instant hit and has remained an urban comedy classic.
In 2005, Katt joined Nick Cannon in his wildly-popular MTV improv show Wild n’ Out where he remained for three full seasons, also adding Rebound to his film resume that year, the Epic Movie in 2007 and First Sunday in 2008. All the while touring, Williams also turned several of his shows (“The Pimp Chronicles Pt. 1,” “It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’,” “Kattpacalypse,” “Priceless: Afterlife,” “Katt Williams Live,” “American Hustle”) into HBO Specials that would draw some of the largest numbers the prominent network had seen.
Whether on stage or at home, Williams takes his personal style seriously and has always had a genuine love of fashion. Tailored suits, fur coats, one-of-a-kind kicks, it’s all in play in the Williams household, a family home he proudly maintains as a place that encourages pursuing your personal best and greatness.