Published Jul 20, 2016Katt Williams' Kattpacalypse, filmed on New Year's Eve 2011, is largely concerned with (as the title implies) the falsely predicted apocalypse of 2012. It was Williams' first special following a three-year hiatus, and he performs with the pent-up energy of a man who spent his 36-month retirement pacing in a small room. It's just a shame that the majority of what he delivers is nonsense.
A sweat-drenched Williams begins the show by removing a fur cape and sprinting to all corners of the stage, revealing a gaudy set up of silver thrones, lush dark curtains and two kneeling women in bikinis at centre stage. After revealing the kitschy setting, Williams begins with a promising thesis: Obama's presidency has been the most racially unified time in the history of the United States. He elaborates that the nation will no longer allow itself to be divided.
Williams then proceeds to contradict himself by drawing ill-conceived lines between racial groups, often announcing that he "speak[s] for all n****s" when he believes Earth's human exodus will be led by white people who will leave the black population behind. Williams then takes aim at evolution and atheism with a vehement certainty that is almost cringe-worthy, refuting Darwin's widely accepted scientific theory on the grounds that "evolution says that people came from monkeys, and the question is, why is there still monkeys, you dumb motherfucker?"
His perspective isn't thought-provoking, satirical, or at all stimulating; it's just ill-informed. In fact, misguided assumptions that he is well-liked by certain groups of people have also gotten him into trouble as of late, so perhaps he isn't the best person to sermonize from a self-appointed position of grandeur.
Yet, despite inarticulate stances on important topics, Katt Williams is a good comedian and a spectacular orator. His bits are well-timed, elaborately performed and idiosyncratic to the point that no other comedian could rip them off. Like a Southern preacher, his presence is difficult to ignore and he lays his heart on the line (the special concludes with a gentle bit where he takes a moment to thank his fans for sticking with him through his troubles). But for Williams to return to the prominence of his past, he will need to begin to speak for himself alone and modernize his out-dated approach. Whether he is able to do so is another matter entirely.
Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.