Comedian Katt Williams has brought a lot of laughter and entertainment to many audiences around the world. But the world was almost deprived of Williams’ comedy when he considered quitting the business earlier in his career. It was a potential lawsuit from Disney, however, that would motivate Williams to persist.
Why Katt Williams announced he was ‘kinda done’ with comedy
Katt Williams once announced that he was retiring from the world of comedy. This was when Williams was at the height of his controversy, and an incident in Seattle seemed to push him to a breaking point.
“I’m just going to go ahead and announce my retirement from stand-up,” Williams once said to Seattle TV Station KOMO. “I’m kinda done.”
At this point, he felt serious enough about his claim to tell his children about it.
“I’ve already discussed it with my kids,” he shared. “I wasn’t really going to do it on a Seattle street. I was going to Los Angeles and do it in the offices of ICM or LiveNation.”
But through his management, Williams declared that he was officially unretiring not too long afterward. Williams’ team explained his retirement comments were made because he felt slighted.
“The reason why he made remarks was due to him feeling totally disrespected by all the things that happen to him in the city of Seattle. He had a moment where he felt very unappreciated. He now just wants to move forward from those unfortunate events and give his fans outstanding shows from this point forward,” Williams management once said according to TMZ.
Katt Williams was ready to quit comedy until Disney stepped in
As some fans might know, Williams didn’t always go by Katt Williams when on stage. In a recent interview with Vulture, the comedian took the time to clear up any potential confusion about his perceived moniker.
“I was conceived at the Catskills Mountains. They went to the Catskills and they went to the Sierra Mountains. So that is how ‘Katt’ and ‘Sierra’ are both my middle names. I stopped going by my first name because that was my son’s name, and he’s not a junior,” Williams clarified.
Before he became Katt Williams, he was known as Katt in the Hatt. But seeing as his comedic career hadn’t gained momentum yet, Williams was ready to call it quits. Then Disney stepped in and motivated Williams in an unexpected way.
“I was Katt in the Hat the entire time. I got a cease-and-desist letter from Disney before I had ever made $10,000 in stand-up and was considering quitting because I couldn’t make a living. They sent a broke comedian a cease-and-desist from the biggest corporation in the globe. And I said, ‘If Disney even knows I exist, I’m gonna make it,’” he shared.
Katt Williams explains why he’s stopped working out his material in clubs
As is the case with some comedians, Williams used to practice his material in smaller clubs. After testing it out, he’d share his comedy with a wider audience. But over the years the Emmy-winner has stopped testing out his material partly because of potential joke thieves.
“They’ll take your premise and setup and add a different punch line. It was the wild, wild west. I didn’t want to accidentally be involved with any of that on my end,” he explained. “And then later, once I had success, if it took me five months to work out material in clubs, I’d be hearing my jokes around the country before I was ready —this comedian from here and this comedian from there all doing a version of a thing I’m working on.”