So, that happened. What a weird, wild 30 hours for Katt Williams in New York City last week. It began on Wednesday afternoon, when NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien taped its show and never heard from Williams, a scheduled guest for that night’s program. His people told me the next day that Williams, traveling by tour bus, simply got stuck in traffic and never made it into Manhattan in time.
Williams and his entourage did arrive later that night, and sometime in the 2 a.m. hour, NYPD searched a car (allegedly lacking a license plate) traveling with said tour bus, found a handgun in the car, and arrested the entire entourage, including Williams. A source close to Williams tried to assure me that he had been detained on charges of "Pimpin." Ha! Either way, the comedian didn’t make bail until 18 hours later, and hurried over to Carnegie Hall, arriving at 8:36 p.m. Considering his stand-up concert was supposed to start at 8 p.m., theater staff and the New York Comedy Festival people were more than a bit anxious awaiting his arrival, and started the show late, plus had opener Wil Sylvince pad his time onstage. Williams emerged to applause at 9:09 p.m. and promptly filled us all in on at least some of the details. He first asked for patience. "I just got out of jail 35 minutes ago," he said. "I had 15 n!&&ers with me. They took us all in!" He also quipped that he didn’t rush over just to cash a paycheck, as he’d been paid in advance. After a few more thoughts about the discomforts of incarceration, Williams launched into his regularly scheduled routines, talking about what Barack Obama’s presidency means to black Americans, a lengthy historical retrospective on the pilgrims, the great American melting pot, and the beginnings of slavery. If blacks had begged for reparations before, Williams wasn’t asking on this night. "This week was the greatest gift you ever gave us, period," he said. He also took a few moments to discuss his dislike of Sarah Palin, and after delivering an hour of material, Williams closed with another five minutes of rapping. Very impressive stuff for a guy who had not gotten a wink of sleep the entire day and barely a minute to decompress from 18 hours in jail! Even Chris Rock, in attendance, was smiling as he left Carnegie Hall. After the show, Williams seemed to be in good spirits as he wound down a very eventful day and night with other comedians at the festival’s official afterparty at Carolines.
If any publicity is good publicity, then this is as good a time as any to remind you that Williams has a new DVD out on Tuesday, It’s Pimpin’, Pimpin’.
And here’s a clip: