For a stand-up comedy addict watching Katt Williams for the first time in the Pimp Chronicles was like a shot to the brain. Katt was honest, immediate, a lightning bolt for those who may have watched him for the first time. In the film Scarface with Al Pacino, the eff word appeared 144 times. Watching and listening to Katt do what he does best I couldn’t keep count. The script was laden with the ‘n word, the eff word and the other words we all know.
Using comedy to get the message across
Watching the show for the first time it did not take me long to know what the comedian was doing. He was using street stories and street language to teach and trying his best to educate those who needed to hear how to raise their children, to get ‘white friends’, to tell them what was proper, to enjoy life, and to make the most of your time on earth. I watched the Pimp Chronicles five or six times and marvelled at the way he wrote the script. He has perfect timing, delivery, language skills even though he performs the show using the language and vernacular of the street. When you watch him perform you cannot believe that he is the father of eight children, one or two his own and the rest adopted. What he is trying to do with his comedy is basically to say, c’mon guys, get a grip. Don’t mess around. Do something with your life. Get a job. See? I’m a black man, but I work and I have a big house. You too can have what I have.
Comedy a tool for change
In South Africa there are 11 or 12 official languages and several different racial groups. All of them try to improve race relations through the written and spoken word. When Katt is asked to explain his rant against the Mexicans recently, he refused to apologize and said that if you want to be Mexican then get to stepping to Mexico; he is fiercely proud of his country and was not going to apologise for uncensored thought. ‘I love my country. America is the greatest country in the world.’ At the heart of his comedy is the wish to enhance the lives of black Americans and give them hope. In a way, all comedians try to bring change.