On this day in comedy in 1971 comedian, Actor, Micah Sierra “Katt” Williams was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Raised in Dayton and declared a genius from school officials, Williams ran away from home as an early teen and joined a carnival. He learned the tricks of entertainment traveling and experimenting; transitioning his road act into clubs and eventually settling in Inglewood, California where he gained attention hosting the Hollywood Park Casino; known as comedian Katt in the Hat.
Williams’s high energy delivery, distinctive voice and diminutive size made him stand out in the packed field of standup comedians. After several television appearances (NYPD Blue, BETs Comic View, The Tracy Morgan Show) he distinguished himself with the public in Friday After Next and was now Money Mike, the hyper co-proprietor of the fashion boutique, “Pimps & Hoes”. Behind the scenes, Williams had united fellow actors Terry Crews and K D Aubert to strengthen their small parts to be as funny as possible and it worked so well those parts were expanded and the trio stole the movie. He next was seen in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harold met Lloyd, Repos and his well-received special, Katt Williams Live: Let A Playa Play.
However, it was the HBO special Pimp Chronicles Part 1 that put Williams on the mainstream radar. Decked out in a green suit he was reminiscent of a mischievous leprechaun bouncing around the huge stage riffing; dropping catchphrases like, “This nigga right here” and climaxing with a sweat drenched deriding of Michael Jackson and his love of children. The show had everybody talking the next day and Williams had cemented himself as a must-see concert act.
Katt Williams was present in all mediums. He was featured as himself in the video game, Grand Theft Auto IV. He played Bobby Shaw on the Damon Wayans / Tisha Campbell sitcom, My Wife & Kids. He roasted Flavor Flav on Comedy Central. He did voice-over work for Aaron McGruder’s cartoon, The Boondocks playing A Pimp Named Slickback and the voice of Seamus in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Williams did improv on Nick Cannon’s Wild N Out and recorded rap tunes with rappers.
His notable film performances included Norbit (where Eddie Griffin had to convince the producers Williams was hilarious; give him some lines and Williams proved Griffin was no liar); American Hustle (his hybrid follow up to Pimp Chronicles 1, where the first part of the film shows Williams and his openers, Luenell Campbell, Melonie Comarcho and Red Grant traveling to their gig and the second portion the concert footage of Williams) and First Sunday (he played a heterosexual choir director).
Williams 2008 It’s Pimpin, Pimpin national tour grossed $50 million. Following that 100 plus dates 6 month marathon Katt Williams formally retired in from entertainment. He popped up in a couple of films (The Obama Effect and Scary Movie 5) but stayed relatively inactive in show business until his return in 2012 with a tour and the special Kattpacalypse.
Multiple legal problems and run-ins with the police plagued Williams come back prompting him to retire once again. This was short lived (3 days) and he returned to the road for his “Growth Spurt” Tour followed up with another culminating in his HBO special, Priceless: After Life, directed by Spike Lee.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton