“That Jacksonville Thing”: Katt Williams Coming Back to Jacksonville Next Friday (August 27)

 

I love comedy. I love stand-up comedians. In a word that is so divisive and so contentious, laughing with strangers is so powerful. Since aquiring Folio, I have had the ability to interview Brian Regan, Bob Saget and, now, Katt Williams. Go see Katt Williams, Friday, August 27, 2021 at Vystar Veterans Arena. He sold out the Florida Theatre last time was here and filmed his hit special, giving Jacksonville worldwide attention, talking about Duuuval and diversity, our food and our culture. In the interview, he refers to Jacksonville as a hidden gem. He’s back to do it again.

Rather than write about how much a respect and appreciate Katt and how thoughtful he is when performing, I am going to share my interview in full. Enjoy. Buy tickets. Support comedy. As he said, “And we only have one objective, and that’s to bring more laughs into your life. I think we’ll match up with any comedy tour that comes around all year long.”

Here’s my 15 minutes with Katt Williams. I am a bigger fan of him after it. I hope you will be, too.

John:

Katt, it’s honestly my pleasure. I’ve been a fan for probably too long to admit.

Katt:

That would make one of us old, sir… I’m sure you are a fan to this new enterprise.

John:

That’s right.

Katt:

I appreciate it.

John:

Let me be the first to welcome you back to the most famous county in the world.

Katt:

The one and only Duval.

John:

So I assume… We’re going to talk about World War III, obviously. But you can’t talk about World War III, and you coming back to Jacksonville, without reflecting a little bit on just the absolutely amazing job you did detailing Jacksonville in your recent special. How much went into that? What’s your connection to Jacksonville?

Katt:

What I can give you, is that… Coming up as a fledgling standup comedian, my process was a little different than most of my peer group. So even back when I was only being paid $150 to do six shows, I was still spending the extra few bucks to get to the city two days early, so that I could really investigate certain things that I determined made up the pulse of the city. And that was where people were shopping, where people were partying, where people were eating, where people were washing their clothes, and where parents let their kids play. I would make sure that in each city, I availed myself to those landmarks… The places where the heartbeat of the people are. And so across the country, I could be found in local projects, and flea markets, and state fairs. Because that’s where people are.

Katt:

For maybe a decade of my career, I was going to jail everywhere, because I literally was everywhere. In everybody’s hood, in all places, looking like a drug dealer as a lonely comedian. But the thing that I figured out is, I’m only a representative of the people. And so, as long as I can stay connected to the actual people, then I should be able to keep that connection. And that’s what I’ve done. So that connection has been with me in each of these great cities in America for my entire career. It’s just as I went to more and more places, more and more times, you find out that some of the places that really should be special are getting whooped every day by these world-class destinations littered across our country, that people just don’t know about.

Katt:

The nation of the cuisine, and the people, and the locale, and the things that they have to offer. That’s what we all put together, to determine where these hotspots are. It was just a pleasure to be able to put a showcase on a place that deserved a showcase. A place that can actually live up to the showcase, and to be able to do that comedically. Comedically, we try to plant our flag wherever that flag deserves to be. We love to be able to do it before the competition, before the peer group. We pride ourselves on noticing magnificence before others do. We’ve carried that on to the comedians that we bring to the shows as well. Each part of it is supposed to show care, and thought, and work. The whole purpose of that Jacksonville thing was to understand that this is being delivered to people from Jacksonville. The whole onus is that they’re not going to let me stand up here and misinform.

John:

No, not the people of Jacksonville.

Katt:

Yeah. Yeah. They’re not going to let me push a false narrative here. There was no low hanging fruit. This was the information of the local. This was the information of the person in the know. I’m a fan of that on all levels. Whether it comes to infiltrating the Illuminati, or with discovering Jacksonville, I’m interested in all information and truth.

John:

It’s just fascinating, your science. I bought this magazine after COVID, and I’ve done the (interviews of the) comedians. I love comedy. Particularly right now, we need comedy.

Katt:

Correct.

John:

When I saw your name came up, I tripped over everybody to try to get it. My law firm’s side… Mainly, I’m a lawyer. And my law firm’s side has donated backpacks every year to Eureka Gardens, a lost little community with lots of violence tearing it apart. And to hear you kind of talk about that, and bring up Eureka Gardens in the special, it touches me. You’re hilarious when doing it, but to spotlight these towns that don’t quite get, it really means a lot.

Katt:

Yeah. Because the hidden effects of racism and systemic oppression, is the fact that where you’re located on the map has a bearing with your happiness, your finances, and the way you live your life. My audience has just always been a cut above the average audience, just because of what the components are. It was the fact that every place that I mentioned, there were people in the house from there. You know what I mean? It’s that part.

The part that from the projects, to the suburbs, to the farm land, to the street corner. That’s the fan base. It’s not just what makes the city good. It’s what makes a group good. It’s what makes a county good. It’s what makes a country good. It’s what makes our world livable, is that piece of it. I was just fortunate to be able to have picked the right place for the showcase itself, because it can’t be fake. There’s no way that I could have pulled that off with Los Angeles, or New York, or even Miami to some degree. It really had to be one of those hidden undiscovered things. And that just happens to be our forte.

We pride ourselves on being able to pick the finest woman in the room. And sometimes she’s not the person that everyone’s looking at. And so, to be able to look past the regular, to find the special, is kind of what we pride ourselves on. That’s what made the marriage work so well, is because… It’s one thing to laugh. But when you go back and check what the guy is saying, and it comes up as accurate, then that’s a nod and a credit to not just him, but to the city and the community as a whole. So it’s wonderful to be able to bring that full circle, and to make sure that I put Florida on the top of the tour list. So they know how much I appreciate them. Florida really covered me through the pandemic, and the quarantine, and COVIDS one through 19. So I just wanted to show that thankfulness back to the Sunshine State.

John:

Why is laughter important right now? Why is you getting back out on the road to your fans important?

Katt:

Scientifically, it’s important, because a whole thing where somebody tells a joke, and then the other person laughs. That scientific component, that chemistry that exists, where we can have a conversation and both laugh at it, that only exists for humans. We’re the only species that can enjoy that interaction. And it’s crazy, because if you believe in evolution, then that means after billions of years in the universe, we were chosen specifically to get this one little gift. And I’m one of the practitioners of said gifts. It’s great pride on that, scientifically. But just as a human though, we’re all trying to be very healthy in a sick, sick world. And with all of us trying to be healthy in our own ways, and with the world sometimes being sick, it’s necessary that you find out what the best medicine is, and try to get in some part of that pipeline.

We’re just blessed that we’re able to have the connection with a great fan base, and a great audience, and able to bring great comedians to great venues. And yeah. We want to make a better separation between us and the peer group than we’ve ever made before. Hence the name World War III. Just because in 2021-2022, there are some things that are going to be said, and some things that are being said, that have never been said in global history. And so that important time, for all cultures, all races, all walks of life, when things are happening that have never happened in the history of mankind.

And that’s really where we are on 20 different conversations. And so, what a joy it is to be back in a wild, wild west type of situation, with a team of shooters with me. We have Red Grant, and Zooman Miller, and Miss Gin Thomas. At shooting guard, we were able to get Mark Curry, the great… At center, we were blessed to be able to get Luenell. So when you bring out a team as formidable as that one, and then add raggedy Katt Williams to that list, it’s certain to be giggles and snorts from the rooter to the tooter. That’s what we feel like our audience deserves, and we try to bring it at the highest levels. This’ll be a very magnificent season for us.

John:

Well, you will see my wife and I, a couple of six foot tall white people, sitting right front row, laughing with your rooting and tooting. What else can people expect at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on August 27, when Katt Williams is in town?

Katt:

Well, basically what I was just saying. I guess everybody expects their show is special, and they feel like they’re delivered something good to their fan base. I would imagine everybody feels like that. But we do have the best fan base, the most diverse fan base, the most hardcore, the most intelligent, the most ready to laugh. That’s just an honor. And so we try to make sure that all the components are there for them. We don’t have any unfunny comedians. There’s no buildup to the funny. It starts off funny, and it ends funny. If this is your first experience, it’ll be a chance to see real comedy writers in their real natural element. It’s a wonderful thing to see. And we only have one objective, and that’s to bring more laughs into your life. I think we’ll match up with any comedy tour that comes around all year long.

I think this is the seminal event for comedy lovers in each city. And we only pick the greatest of cities. If you were able to see the tour lineup, you see that we didn’t let anything stop us from going to the great locations. There are no fluff dates. We have no fluff comedians. And as usual, the conversation that you hear from Katt Williams should be unlike any comedy that you get from any other source. And at the end of the day, that’s where we hang our hat. That’s our brand, is the originality and the attention to detail. And so we intend to continue that again.

About John M. Phillips

october, 2021

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