His career was on fire. Kat was being paid six figures a night to do his stand up thing in front of both black and white audiences all over the nation.
Then something went wrong.
THE LITTLE PIMP, a nickname he embraced, began to NOT SHOW UP. He acted strangely, got in fights, got arrested weekly and didn’t seem to care that he was going broke.
Since he’d become a huge star, making his agency, producers and hangers-on tons of dough, he got a second chance to come back about a year ago.
And this Friday in Kansas City, with thousands on hand at Sprint Center, The Kat In The Hat once again NO SHOWED. “Ladies and Gentleman the Show is cancelled, we will refund your ticket money,” they announced according to one of my staff who was there Saturday night.
I met Kat Williams in the early 2000’s. His agent and mine was Matt Blake. Blake had earlier brought a guy named Dan Whitney to the attention of Hollywood = you know him as Larry The Cable Guy. I’d called Matt about Larry a couple years earlier, the rest is history.
Larry, like Kat, was a regular at Stanford’s from the late 90’s into the early 2000’s. Blake saw in Kat the same type of audience response Larry had achieved. Neither had big TV or film credits when they were noticed, but both had talent.
Williams was the most gifted Black comic I had ever seen.
And that list is a long one, including Damon Wayans,Earthquake, Mike Epps, Bruce Bruce, Ricky Smiley and even today’s number one guy, Kevin Hart. None had more talent than Kat Williams.
Blake told me that he’d found Kat pretty much on the street. In fact, Blake paid to put false teeth in the guy’s mouth. He was semi toothless at the time. Kat got a break and had a small, but memorable part in the smash hit film Friday After Next playing Money Mike the “little pimp.”
And KC loved him when he tore it up on Hot Jams 103.3. I was there on the air with the guy. I saw him as a modern day Sammy Davis Junior. He even had the same voice. He didn’t depend on doing the “black thing” on stage. Instead Kat did a ton of material about having six kids, being a great dad, being a broke dad and loving these children.
So what happened? Was it drugs? Was it booze? Both? Nope.
Kat is the rare case of having severe bi polar Schizophrenia.
He is mentally ill and he needs help, but won’t get it. The guy has pissed on almost everyone near and dear to him. He’s not married, just has kids. Rumors are he’s broke, doesn’t care. He’s been arrested for strange behavior several times lately on the west coast. Like attacking a guy in a bar over a pool game. Yelling and screaming about really nothing in a bar. He hit a fan with the microphone, and nobody really knew why. He took a police car on a chase with his three wheeler. And the cops said he was not drunk and not high. Wow!
Was it the success? The money? The fame?
We all know that got to Dave Chappelle, he pretty much has dropped out of sight after his $100 million career. Kat was going to be even bigger. His hit HBO special, tons of TV shows, more films like Norbit and Epic Movie. Everyone wanted the guy but he just quit.
I hung out with him back in the Westport Stanford’s days.
I never saw him drunk or high, ever. He did have a strange love for pool (by the way he was horrible). He would lose his paychecks to con men who bet him they could make pre arranged trick shots on the table. This street guy fell for it every single time and would lose the bets for hundreds and later thousands of dollars.
It was then that I thought he might have a screw loose. However he was a pro, always on time and very nice person. I hated to lose him to the theaters, but he got huge by 2003 and I never saw him again.
Sprint in Kansas City was just another example of the strange fall from grace of THE KAT IN THE HAT. I wish him well, hope he gets some help and makes another comeback.