Brad Williams has made a name for himself as a respected, high-energy comedian. Don’t let his small stature fool you. Full of midget jokes, funny comparisons and lots of laughs, Brad is coming back to Montreal this July for Just for Laughs. He’ll be performing in The Nasty Show and his own show Brad Williams: Daddy Issues playing at La Chappelle.
I had the pleasure to chat with him about his debut in comedy, coming back to Montreal, and… ice cream!
You were in the club, watching Carlos Mencia. Then before you know it, you’re touring with him. How did that come to be?
I was just in the audience of one of his comedy shows and he started making midget jokes. Half of the audience was laughing and the other half was silent because I was sitting near them. Mencia noticed that and said: “Why isn’t anyone laughing? These are funny jokes? Is one of them here?” And I just raised my creepy little hand in the air. He didn’t hesitate, called me up on stage, started asking me questions. I gave him answers and my answers got laughs. That’s when it hit me. I thought: “This is it, This is it!” I was so thrilled to make strangers laugh and once I had that feeling I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life.
How did you get into podcasting?
I just followed the trend that was happening. There wasn’t a ton when I started three years ago. I started doing it before it was huge. I also wanted to do it with a friend to have someone to bounce things off of. Adam Ray, a great comedian/actor (you can see him this summer in the Ghostbuster movie), and we just started doing this podcast together and it just grew into something crazy. It started off with just him and I talking and then we started having guests. Our guest list is pretty huge: Melissa McCarthy, Howie Mandell, Harlem William, Bob Saget, Jaleel White, Marc Maron, [etc.] It’s a lot of fun, it gives people a chance to keep up with us and our guests without having to be in your town.
Your performance is high-energy. Have you always been that energetic or do you get that from the stage?
A little from column A [naturally energetic], a little from column B [from the stage]. I’ve always been high-energy and animated. It’s hard not to be when you have a bunch of strangers staring at you and now you have to make them laugh. The adrenaline really starts to pump. I’m ADD myself so I’m the kind of comedian I like to watch. I like comedians that if I don’t like the joke you just told, just wait 15-20 seconds and there’s gonna be another one. And that’s definitely how people act when they watch me. If you didn’t like one, just wait, another one is coming up right around the bend.
Who are three top comedians you would like to work with, dead or alive?
I feel like you’re required to say Carlin and Pryor. That goes without saying. So three besides them, there would be Robin Williams, whom I met and did one show with him ( I would give anything to do that over again). [Steve Martin’s a] comedic hero of mine and someone who has entertained me from childhood to adulthood. And Bill Burr; what he’s doing right now in terms of standup is just unbelievable.
What do you think about Canadian audiences?
Not as sensitive as American audiences. American audiences seem to be looking to be offended. They’re just waiting for the one thing that pisses them off so they can go complain to the manager and get their money back. Here in Canada, I don’t know if it’s the hockey mentality – You see hockey players practically get their heads taken off and they’re bleeding out of every orifice and you say: “Ah just put a little bit of duck tape on it and put him out there.” I love that mentality. So even if you offend a Canadian, he or she will not take it personally and make it their life’s mission to make you quit your job. It’s one of the reasons I love coming back to the Just For Laughs festival or performing anywhere in Canada.
You’re performing at The Nasty Show and you have your own show Daddy Issues. What ‘kind of Brad’ can people expect to see at both shows?
The Nasty Show is pretty self-explanatory. It’s gonna be blue comedy [and] a lot of fun. Things you don’t necessarily want to hear but once you do, you’ll think “Thank God I heard that!” Including myself, there will be a plethora of amazingly talented comedians on that show. If you want to hear my thoughts about things that aren’t necessary sexual related, or more divulgence into my life, politics, and things of that nature, come see my live show. So you can come see both shows and you won’t see the same material.
If you could describe your comedy as an ice cream flavour, what would it be?
It would be rootbeer with Pop Rocks in it. It’s just an explosion of stuff in your mouth which also sounds like a porno description… Rootbeer with Pop Rocks because you look at it and think “I don’t know if that’s gonna be good.” Then you try it and say: “OMG this is really weird, but it’s really good.” And that’s what my comedy is.
Thanks for the chat Brad! Looking forward to getting that picture with you. Keep your eyes peeled for the Afro!
You can catch Brad Williams during the Just For Laughs Festival at The Nasty Show – July 20-30 at The Metropolis and hs own show Brad Williams: “Daddy Issues” – July 28-29-30 at La Chappelle. Check out Just For Laughs for all the details.