Katt Williams' Pimpadelic

posted October 26, 2009 09:10:00 PM CDT | 9 comments

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To a skeptic, a Katt Williams [click to read] DVD offers little more than a Suga Free CD: there's a pimp, a perm, and a poor man's commentary on the world, all offered with distinct voice. Williams' most successful DVD to date, American Hustle, packed some highlights of his 2007 comedy, and mocking appearances from everybody from Snoop Dogg [click to read] to Jeremy Piven. Although a theatrical release, still airing in syndication today, the film's acting points kept American Hustle from being anything close to personal. Like Dave Chapelle and Martin Lawrence, Williams had a string of unusual public acts that sent the comedian into recluse and reportedly, therapy. Katt Williams Pimpadelic, despite its lighthearted name, is Williams' opening up to his audience. Inter-cut between a stellar 2005 Washington DC performance, the Ohio native opens up and makes sense of both his laughter and his tears.

The most obvious thing in Pimpadelic is the difference between Katt the man and his persona. From the hair to the voice, Williams has crafted an caricature of his true self. By the looks of things, the artist's mind is what you see on the stage. In his interviews with the camera, the comedian is outspoken about the pain in his life. “Comedians are born out of that darkness,” he says, which appears true when considering Richard Pryor, Chris Farley or Tracy Morgan. The comedian talks about years where he made less than $10,000 to his present day millionaire status, as he admits with hints of embarrassment. Thus, the bulk of his act dealing with the price of gas, shopping in the mall and talking his children out of space age gaming systems and into Nintendo N64s seem all the more real. The editing between stage and interview make the jokes funnier, as it's clear that Williams isn't appealing to his audience, he's returning to them.

Then again, the comedian also shows how methodical he is about his craft. Rather than be instructional, Katt's speaking to hopeful funnymen is almost condescending. He reveals that being "funny around your friends" isn't even square one, and that the joke-per-minute ratio needs to surpass jokes more than minutes, without losing a single laugh in a packed auditorium. Katt tells his own story, winning over region by region until he reached national status. The comedian also talks about his pre-show routines, which include a drink, a smoke and avoiding stress at all costs. Again, that stress may be telling of the DVD star's 2008 breakdown, including missing a BET hosting role, last minute.

Earlier this decade, Jerry Seinfeld made The Comedian. The film was revealing, it was engaging, but it lacked the actual comedy that sells a DVD. Katt Williams knew better with Pimpadelic. Although he's reigned in the last half of the decade, this man shows viewers that it's been a long, painful and naked road to the top. With his love of the fans, love for his family, and love for his craft, Williams' reign sees no end in sight. As for his pimp ethics, the film's highlight breaks it all down: if a contractor makes money at the hands of workers that he picks up, drops off, and do all the labor, than what is a pimp? Katt Williams pimps his pain and strife, and this DVD serves straight from the curb.

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