File this meltdown under bizarre: Katt Williams, an accomplished and popular comedian is a complicated man (like some artists tend to be). In 2012, those complications gave way to one weird and rough night in Oakland.
From a comedic standpoint, Williams has got it all: timing, attitude, wit; the guy can hold audiences in the palm of his hand whenever he pleases. Upon first glance, Williams appears to be of a mold perfectly designed for standup comedy. His act is respected by his peers and appreciated enough by audiences to warrant more than a few profitable standup tours for a long time now. However, there is a giant string attached to all that is Katt Williams: the guy has got some legitimate emotional issues.
He has had his share of legal problems stemming from a few different incidents that range from violent to downright crazy. Who knows if any of that has anything to do with the flip-out in Oakland, but it may provide some understanding into why he couldn’t just kill it like he always did. It is possible that Williams just makes it look effortless when he is on, but when viewing the clip, it feels as though it wasn’t an “off” night. It looked like he wasn’t putting any true effort into putting on a good show at all.
During the train wreck of a show, it is evident after a certain point during his act that Williams for one reason or another deviated from his standup routine and began to come unhinged while on stage. He ceases to be a performer and instead becomes a rambling man trying to make sense of his own life to anyone that will listen. The whole thing surpasses outrageousness with Williams spouting more and more incoherent nonsense while a hostile Oakland crowd could only respond with a validated hostility that sent the situation into a sky-high awkwardness. After 10 of the weirdest minutes one could imagine (complete with Williams ripping his clothes off, freestyle rapping, and even challenged a few different audience members to fight him), Williams was pulled offstage by his own secuirty. In the aftermath, many people in attendance wanted a full refund for what they felt was a "non-performance"… they didn’t get it.
What makes this one stand out is that it was more of an onstage nervous breakdown or drug frenzy rather than a meltdown. The strange events that happened during the Katt Williams show in Oakland can be rationalized in every which way, but it seemed that Williams was going through a lot of personal issues at the time and that he revealed his tortured side to an audience lacking any empathy at all.
"It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen in my life."
(A quote from a security guard working the show that night).
Watch Williams' meltdown below.