ABOUT MICHAEL E.WILLIAMS
"As a little boy, I knew that my mission in life was to change the world through culture."
Michael E. Williams
CEO & Founder
Comedy Act Planet formerly, Comedy Act Theatre
Michael E. Williams dubbed The Godfather of Black comedy is the man behind the modern-day Black comedy movement.
In 1985, Williams opened doors to the first Black-owned comedy club, Comedy Act Theatre (C.A.T.) in historic Leimert Park located in the Crenshaw District in Los Angeles, CA. When Williams opened those doors, he tested unchartered territory only to emerge as a trendsetter who forever changed the comedy entertainment industry landscape.
Opening night featured 17 little-known acts including Sinbad. In three weeks, what was intended as a local means of entertainment, spawned the dawning of a new era in entertainment history that catapulted young aspiring, amateur comedians to A-list status, while bringing together patrons from all walks who were in search of an escape from a normal routine day of life, to one of gut-wrenching laughter that together reverberated around America.
Every night when Williams opened its doors, the C.A.T. sold out to a mixed audience comprised of community, celebrities, pro athletes, industry insiders, and the global community. The C.A.T. became so popular, people flew into Los Angeles for a chance to perform or just attend a show. The C.A.T. not only became “the spot” for local entertainment but also a landmark launchpad for comedic talent including writers, producers, directors, casting agents, and performers.
Incorporated in 1986, the Comedy Act Theatre was the innovation that bred a wealth of African American talent, as well as a venue for many of the industry’s best-known African American comedians including Sinbad, Chris Tucker, Jamie Foxx, Martin Lawrence, DL Hughley, Kim Whitley, Ajai Sanders, Mo’Nique, Damon Wayans, Mike Epps, Tommy Davidson, Dave Chappelle, the late Bernie Mac and the late Robin Harris, who routinely served as emcee until his untimely death, and many more. Their works span a broad spectrum of the most iconic movie productions and television series to date from Def Jam, HBO, BET, Showtime, Comedy Central, and Fox to countless others.
Williams opened doors to a second location in Oakland in 1987, then Atlanta in March 1990, and Chicago in 1992 establishing himself as a modern-day hero, the visionary behind the African American comedy movement. His comedy clubs consistently gave African American talent top billing — the first and only clubs to do so in America.
In 12 years, C.A.T. had become an important institution, and a much-needed venue giving Black comedians from across the country a stage where to sharpen their skills. At the same time, it was known as a hip showcase for the stars. C.A.T.’s down-home ambiance attracted a clientele that covers the spectrum. There was no shortage of entertainment or surprises as established comedians would also embrace the C.A.T. stage, from Arsenio Hall to Eddie Murphy to Whoopi Goldberg and Redd Foxx to Paul Mooney and Rudy Ray Moore to LaWanda Paige, it was known C.A.T. had good comedy.
Williams’ personal struggle with cancer caused him to close the doors to the C.A.T. chain in 1997. Since winning that battle, he’s traveled the country visiting comedy clubs and talking with comedians only to discover that there are nearly as few places today where both new and established black comedians can work out and hone their crafts as there were in 1985. Based on these observations, the iconic visionary has decided to launch a new effort in the Comedy Act Planet (C.A.P.) In the C.A.P. launching, Williams has once again, implemented his vision to redevelop and institute the movement that is now recognized as an organized black comedy.
Michael E. Williams
Visionary, Innovator, Entrepreneur, Producer, Writer, Author, Mentor
The Comedy Act Planet, born from, The Comedy Act Theatre now joins comedians across the globe through the influence and connection of one man... Michael E. Williams, rightly dubbed “The God Father of Comedy” has expanded his vision to encompass the world.
The Comedy Act Planet in Photos Pg 1
Enjoy the memories...Special thanks to my sister Sharon for sharing some of her pics with me. If you have special memories you would like to share contact us.