He’s part clown, part firebrand, and utterly fearless. When comedian Katt Williams takes the stage, he becomes a veritable buzz saw ripping through pretense and exposing the elemental humor in this earthly journey we all share. He has been embraced by black and white audiences alike and has been compared (prematurely, he believes) to some of the greatest comedians of the recent past. He’s appeared in movies, television and music videos, but the nightclub stage is where Katt thrives. His new DVD, The Pimp Chronicles Part 1, is a tour de force of comic mayhem that is rocketing his career toward new heights.

Interview & photos by Dan Skye

When did you first realize you had the talent to make people laugh?
It didn’t really occur to me until I was onstage for the first time. You don’t really consider it a talent as a child; you’re just a goofy child. I was silly and I was really smart-alecky. My upbringing was very strict at the house, so I used school as my playground. I could care less what happened there—I just knew that it was more fun than where I had just been.

I was smart enough to do well on the tests without really studying, because I just loved to read; I’d get my textbooks at the beginning of the year and actually read them. Like my history book—I’d just read it, and I’d remember the stuff. Everything else would be either talking to girls, or talking to girls, or talking to guys about talking to girls.

So you were a smart-alecky kid who loved to read. How did teachers feel about you?
They liked me because I was genuinely excited. I wasn’t a badass who didn’t want to do anything; that wasn’t me. I was excited to be in school. The teachers picked up on that. They knew I was smart enough; they knew I wasn’t an idiot. And I wasn’t that disrespectful, because I didn’t want to get in trouble and get kicked out of school.