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Before there was Def Jam, Comedy Central, or Comicview, there was "The Comedy Act Theatre" (C.A.T) the bedrock and mecca of today's African American comedy genre.

The legendary maverick entrepreneur Michael E. Williams, "The Godfather of Comedy" opened the doors of the C.A.T in 1985, and immediately realized his childhood vision,  quickly developing a regular audience of 250 to 400 patrons per night. In its 12 years of operation, the four Comedy Act Theatre locations introduced to some and presented to others a phenomenal list of world-class comedic talent.


Newcomers to comedy cut their performance teeth and perfected new material at the clubs. Established performers energized their careers, as many evolved in this fertile environment into who they are today. The late Robin Harris was a breakout talent who served as the emcee in the Los Angeles club until his untimely death in 1990. 


Unfortunately, Williams was forced to shutter the last of his four clubs in 1997 following a cancer diagnosis (1993) with a life-ending prognosis. Upon overcoming cancer Michael chose to provide care for his then critically ill father and shortly thereafter to his mother. Honoring his parents who had faithfully stood by his side during his illness until their deaths in 2002 and 2006 respectively. Since that time there have been several Comedy Act Theatre reunions that have again spotlighted those who called the clubs "home".

The Original Los Angeles Club_edited.web

At the mic in...​

Los Angeles, CA

Oakland, CA

Atlanta, GA &

Chicago, IL

(Photos - No Copyright Infringement Intended)

Comedy Act Theatre (History) Soundtrack "Pocket" ©2019  J.Silva

"Thank you for years of laughter".

Richard D. (Los Angeles, CA)

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