Katt Williams holds the title as one of the most legendary, iconic, stand-up comedians to ever pick up a microphone. Katt’s first breakout role was Friday After Next — the 3rd installment in Ice Cube’s Friday film franchise, where Katt took on the role of the unforgettable, ultra-quotable character, Money Mike — a witty, stylish and straightforward fashion boutique owner, who also moonlights as a pimp. Recently, Katt Williams had a standout role in the film, Father Figures, alongside Owen Wilson and Ed Helms. But this is just the beginning of what Katt Williams plans to contribute to the comedy world in the near-future. Katt recently released a brand new stand up special via Netflix, titled, “Great America” & even shared that we could look out for him on a new season of Atlanta FX with Donald Glover. Comedy Hype caught up with Katt Williams to get the inside scoop on “Great America”, plus more!
This interview has been lightly-edited for length purposes.
CH: As of today, your brand new special, “Great America” is available on Netflix. This is big news for comedy fans. In every one of your specials, you deliver your signature brand of comedy, but they all have a different take. What can your fans expect from your new special, “Great America”?
KW: Well, the fans are the ones that make those decisions. As comedians, all we have control of is the content that we choose to release. But once it’s released, it’s up to the fans on how they choose to let the material resonate with them.
CH: This special was filmed in Jacksonville, Florida. Anyone who isn’t from Jacksonville is probably wondering, “Why Jacksonville?”, but within the special, you talk about why Jacksonville is an incredible city. What made you choose the location for the special?
KW: There’s a lot of great cities that people overlook. Jacksonville happens to be one of those cities. Of course, the people of Jacksonville know how incredible their city is, but a lot of outsiders don’t know. It is always my endeavor to shine a light on places like that. The people of Jacksonville and the city itself, are both quite marvelous.
CH: Aside from your specials always packing the punches in funniness, one thing that also continues to stand out, is your overall presentation; everything from your stage designs to the outfits that you choose, it all seems to match the tone of the material. Your new special, “Great America”, is no different; in correlation with the title, the stage is designed like a political office. Essentially, every special of yours feels like a well-crafted package.
KW: What you’re noticing is that I actually care. I care about how things are being presented. We all know that comedy could be done on a dusty stage with a stool and the material would still hold up. But I’m trying to impress the people who bought tickets and came to see an actual show. My aim is to give my audience the greatest experience, each time they see me. So my material, my stage design, my opening acts, it all has to be top-notch. It’s my way of showing my audience the upper-most level of respect because they’ve continuously supported me throughout my career. When people show you this much love, it is your obligation as an artist, to go in like LeBron and drop 50.
CH: Your stand up is always truthful, but those nuggets of truth are always accompanied by a balance of exuberance and a sense of facetiousness — one example would be your incredible act-outs. Is there always a conscious decision to implement a bit of ludicrousness in the material, so that the truth doesn’t sting so bad?
KW: Comedy is like a recipe. Yes, salt is an ingredient in your recipe, but if you over-salt the recipe, you’ve lost everything. I definitely talk about the very deep and dark things that aren’t easily discussed, but by the same token, I will implement something as silly a sex joke. It’s about balance. You can’t have too much of one thing.
CH: You just had an amazing part in the film, Father Figures, where you played alongside Owen Wilson and Ed Helms — are there plans to do more film and TV?
KW: I’m always looking for more film and TV opportunities. More specifically, opportunities that will allow me to tackle the kinds of roles that I’ve yet to tackle. I always want challenge myself to bring something unique to whatever project that I agree to be a part of. As of right now, I’m three projects deep into 2018; I’m filming a movie titled, Two Minutes of Fame with Lionsgate, I’m working on Meet The Blacks 2 with Warner Bros and I’ve also been working on the FX sitcom, Atlanta. So yes, you can definitely expect more upcoming film and TV appearances from me.
CH: Speaking of film, we have to ask for the comedy culture; Are you interested in reprising your role in the Friday film franchise, as your notable character, Money Mike?
KW: Well, I’m not the holdup on that project, I think we’re all just waiting on Smokey to come back and then we’re ready to roll [Laughs]. It’s just a blessing to be part of a project that audiences want to see the continuation of. Ice Cube is a perfectionist who works hard on delivering quality content, so whenever he’s ready to begin production on the next film in the franchise, I’ll be ready.
CH: It’s pretty much unanimous that Money Mike had the most quotable and most memorable lines in Friday After Next.
KW: That’s my goal with any role that I take; I don’t care how big or small the role is, I just want to make sure that my characters are memorable and fun to watch.
CH: Your new special, “Great America” is out right now on Netflix. Aside, from the new special, is there anything else that your fans should be anticipating?
KW: I have three big surprises coming up and they’re all happening in 2018. Those things will be rolled out throughout the year. I’m really focused and committed on working hard to deliver top-notch content.
Katt Williams’ “Great America” is available now on Netflix.