Posted November 10, 2008 | 10:15 AM (EST)
On Wednesday, with less than a day to digest the historic election of Barack Obama, another historic event occurred, albeit one that pales in comparison to the Presidential Election. For the first time in fifteen years, a scheduled guest was a no-show on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. The missing guest was comedian and actor Katt Williams, who recently starred in his second HBO special, the Pimp Chronicles Part II.
Few news organizations seem to be covering this, which may very well be because they're not interested. And I admit, under normal circumstances, I make an effort to ignore gossip of all varieties (bad for the digestion). But this piece of news struck me, and I'll tell you why.
First off, I'm an avid fan of the comedic stylings of Katt Williams and Conan O'Brien and second -- I was there. Yes, I was present at the very taping of the Late Show in question -- actually my first Conan show ever -- and probably my last before he moves out to LA.
Yes, there I was at my first taping, sitting in the third row fresh-faced and expectant (read: nervous and sweating). Besides a few minor delays in procuring my tickets, the night had begun largely according to plan. Obama was headed to the White House, I was somehow seated in the third row of Late Night With Conan O'Brien, the host's monologue was hilarious, Max Weinberg and his band were spot on, and the first guest (Dennis Hopper) spoke candidly in his interview about taking many of his roles for the money. Things seemed to be in order.
But as do most things that start with drinking out of paper bags, my night ended with a loss. During a commercial break, after Hopper exited in a blaze of glory and cannon fire, one of Conan's producers sidled up to him and whispered something privately in his ear. The secret clearly surprised Conan, and a shocked expression ran over his face. His hair, however, looked perfect. After what seemed like hours, the red light returned and Conan came back on air. He then promptly admitted that Katt Williams, for reasons unknown to him, would not be appearing on the show.
He then uttered these portentous words: "I hope he's OK. I don't know were he is. Maybe he's celebrating this momentous day, I don't know, I don't want to make any assumptions. I hope he's fine, I hope he's OK." Forced to vamp, Conan launched into a segment which featured him spinning his wedding ring on his desk for 35 seconds trying to break his previous record of 51 seconds. I kid you not, the show must go on.
As I happen to be a fan of Katt Williams, I was aware that Mr. Williams failed to show up at the BET Awards last month and that rumors had been circulating on the Internet speculating that Mr. Williams had gone down in a plane crash. So needless to say, when I learned that not even Conan O'Brien knew where Katt was on Wednesday, well, I was steamed.
So here, on The Huffington Post, I've decided to break some news: Katt Williams showed up in the lobby after the show. That's right. In fact, I took a picture with him. It turns out that early Thursday morning, Mr. Williams was busted with his 10-person entourage after cops investigated his Mercedes bus and Red Escalade (which were for some reason without license plates) and found three guns (which were reportedly in plain sight inside the vehicle).
This might be cause for a series of thoughtful musings on the vigilant nature of New York City law enforcement, but I'll save that for another day. I want to know what's up with Katt Williams, and I would like someone more qualified than myself to speculate as to what is causing Mr. Williams' sporadic and tardy behavior. Is he going to pull a Dave Chappelle? Maybe a Joaquin Phoenix? Was he "ghost-riding the whip"? I mean I know pimpin' ain't easy, but someone, please help.
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Monday, November 10, 2008