Four years after his first Netflix comedy special, Katt Williams returns and finds a world at war… but with who or what? The stand-up comedian, who became famous with his “Pimp Chronicles”, now wants to resolve our inner conflict between lies and truth. But how much can we trust Williams to lead us to the right destination?
The essentials: Katt Williams was filming this special in Las Vegas at Dolby Live as part of his World War III tour in January this year as the Omicron variant of the COVID pandemic raged across America. A wild time performing indoors in front of several thousand fans but that only added to the themes of his new hour.
Because the war he is talking about is not a geopolitical one – Russia had not yet invaded Ukraine in January. It’s also not about America’s “War on Drugs,” though Williams jokes about that too. no The war in which Williams fights at the front involves a battle between lies and the truth.
What comedy specials will it remind you of?: Is there a comedian like Katt Williams? I don’t know if Williams himself would even point to anyone else. If you had to compare him and this special to anyone, Eddie Griffin, who considers himself some sort of truth teller and calls Las Vegas home, might be as close as you could find. Although in relation to a special containing two distinct and distinct themes, Williams’ World War III also shares this with Chris Rock’s tamborine.
Memorable Jokes: When Williams reveals his take on vaccines, that he gets every shot his dog gets. Why? “I’m just as likely to bite someone as he is.” He knows what most viewers make of him.
He also knows how to draw you in with a premise as simple as equating chicken wings with the end of the world. Does Taco Bell sell chicken wings in 2022? That’s straight out of the Book of Revelation, he crows! Williams continues to focus on wings to develop a bigger point about how we are being lied to. A typical example: the so-called chicken wing deficiency.
There’s more where this clip came from.
Williams also has memorable bits about President Biden (although he only said a minute or two earlier that he was done joking about politics), America’s tangled relationship with drug use and abuse, and even what he thinks God is comes and what comes from science. He believes in both, by the way.
Our opinion: The first half hour? Technically brilliant!
The way Williams lays out the difference between liars and the truth, noting that it is indeed the truth-tellers who must properly respect their opposition. The way Williams defends Biden as an old man doing his best while adding another absurd year to Biden’s age by calling him first 96, then 97, then 98, then every time he defends the President 99 calls. The way Williams points out that law enforcement is no longer mentioning her war on drugs “because the dealer is your doctor,” and how he knows zero blacks have anything to do with fentanyl. How many other comedians do you know who even make jokes about fentanyl, let alone try to score serious points with it?
In all of these cases, Williams stands between us and the liars, posing as the bringer of truth we can count on. “They lie to us because sometimes the truth is ugly… sometimes the truth is painful.”
So what about the second half hour of Williams, where he uses the biblical Garden of Eden story as a starting point for his elaborate reflections on female genitalia?
Clever pun aside, setting up his premise that water and pussy are God’s creations, he jokes that we know the recipe for water (H to 2 to O) but fails to duplicate it, culminating in the line: “You can do a HO to cast, but she won’t.” Other than that, everything is below the belt from here.
Suddenly, Williams stops being extraordinary and becomes just ordinary.
Although dirty sex jokes, much like poop jokes, will always elicit laughs. That makes closing with such material all too ordinary. What we didn’t know and love about Williams. We want him to be at his best.
Our appeal: Stream it. I’d suggest watching the first half hour, then click away and SKIP the rest so you can marinate and/or discuss his perspective on the world. Unless you really want to know what Williams looks for under a woman’s panties.
Sean L. McCarthy edits the comedy beat for his own digital newspaper, The comic of the comic; before that for real newspapers. Based in NYC but travels everywhere for news: ice cream or news. He also tweets @thecomicscomic and podcasts half-hour episodes featuring comedians revealing origin stories: Comic’s comic presents last things first.