When I first saw the Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav, Katt Williams impressed me in how he handled a barb targeted at him, often responding with what I read as the response of a comedy nerd – an appreciative nod.
After seeing the video below, I wonder if I misread him. He might have just been stewing and containing himself. Katt Williams, though very funny here, describes his disappointment that the Flavor Flav Roast was the “crispity crackity coon hour.”
His specific problem seems to be that much of the jokes were about Flav being black (whereas there with no jokes about William Shatner or Pamela Anderson being white). He specifically takes issue with a line Comedy Central wrote for him (which despite his dislike for, he still ended up delivering.)
It’s amazing, because I actually forgot the “flying monkey” line and thought it must have been cut from the Roast. It sounds so incendiary here. But I found the Roast open and the flying monkeys comment is at 7:10.
I’m more than a little surprised that I haven’t heard about this earlier, considering Katt’s been doing this routine since at least March. And without much notice (at least none that I can find), which is odd for a society that loves racial controversy. The Friar’s had there own bump with charges of racism during their roast of Whoopi Goldberg when her then boyfriend Ted Danson came out and roasted her in blackface. That was a huge media storm. Why isn’t the host disavowing his own involvement not one?
And stranger still, Katt Williams is reportedly close to a deal with Comedy Central, which would include a new special and perhaps a sketch comedy series, a show mentioned as a true replacement for “Chappelle’s Show.” It’s not something you’d think Williams would consider after a negative experience - an experience he’s still mining for material this past weekend.
But Williams’ final insight into Flavor Flav’s reaction to the Roast makes this deal a little more clear. If they’re going to believe these things anyway, you might as well take them for “everything”, a word that implies not just money but all the trappings around it, including power. A marked difference from Dave Chappelle.
Something that probably made Chappelle unable to see it that way was the fact that his audience, while big before, definitely broadened among white people while on the network. At that point, from how Chappelle described it, he had the ear the country for a time, and he felt some responsibility for what he was going to put into it. No amount of money was going to be worth it if it wasn’t right. If a deal is made and Katt’s show is an equal success, who’s to say he wouldn’t feel the same?
What do you think? Is Katt on target here or is he being oversensitive about the Roast? Do you see echos of Chappelle’s own discomforts with Comedy Central here?