An outrageous comedian who clearly pulls from such influences as [[Performer~P51440~Eddie Murphy~eddiemurphy]] and [[Performer~P107177~Richard Pryor~richardpryor]] -- but somehow ups the irreverence quotient many times over -- standup comic-turned-actor Katt Williams built a career vulgarly riffing on such subjects as [[Performer~P95684~Michael Jackson~michaeljackson]], middle-American evangelism, the incarceration of [[Performer~P333797~Martha Stewart~marthastewart]], and the ironies of race in America (a favorite topic that found him making fervent use of incendiary epithets), to name only a few touchstones -- all of which gave him a widespread and loyal following, particularly among young African-American males. Born in Cincinnati, OH, but raised in nearby Dayton, Williams grew up as the child of politically and socially active parents and received outstanding grades and a slew of academic honors in school. In his late teens, he moved to San Francisco and temporarily joined the Nation of Islam, meanwhile honing a standup act at local nightclubs. Favorite venues that hosted Williams in the late '90s included the Hollywood Park Casino, The Icehouse and The Improv; he also became a staple on BET's standup programs.
In 2002, Williams accepted one of his first screen assignments with a small role (as Money Mike) in [[Performer~P328553~Marcus Raboy~marcusraboy]]'s [[Feature~V267540~Friday After Next~fridayafternext]]. Five years later, Williams finally had the opportunity to team up onscreen with longtime idol [[Performer~P51440~Eddie Murphy~eddiemurphy]], who cast him as Lord Have Mercy in the farce [[Feature~V335654~Norbit~norbit]] (2007). That same year, Williams appeared in a minor capacity in the gag-laden [[Feature~V376693~Epic Movie~epicmovie]] and displayed a more sober side in the family-oriented Christmas drama [[Feature~V361875~The Perfect Holiday~theperfectholiday]]. Meanwhile, the comic continually headlined standup performance films via such cable outlets as Comedy Central and HBO. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi