Some say luck is when opportunity meets preparation. That’s exactly how Brad Williams became a comedian. While attending a show featuring Carlos Mencia, Williams was called up onstage to chat with the veteran comic. Williams killed it, and gained the confidence to do comedy himself.
However, it wasn’t his natural cleverness that helped him win the audience over that night so much as a lifetime of using humor as defense mechanism. Williams credits his father, an attorney by trade, for bringing humor into his life.
“My dad’s one of the funniest dudes I know. He’s funnier than me. He’s great with comebacks and zingers, so he gets me a lot.”
The elder Williams made fun of his son, but not in a mean-spirited way. “He did it because he knew other kids would make fun of me, so he did it first to get me prepared for it. Kind of ‘A Boy Named Sue’ thing.”
Not only did it prepare him for being brought up onstage by Mencia, but for everything in life.
“If I get heckled,” he explains, “I’m like, ‘Are you dumb? You really think I haven’t heard this?’ I didn’t just become a dwarf. My career wasn’t going really shitty and I thought, ‘Hey, let’s try this midget thing!’”
Williams has dealt with that sort of thing his whole life. So he’s surprised on those rare occasions when he does encounter a heckler. “When someone yells out a leprechaun joke I’m like, ‘You really don’t think I have a comeback for that?’ And then I make them cry.”
He’s quick to note that he doesn’t want people reading this interview and interpreting it as some sort of challenge. “Just don’t,” he laughs. “It’s not going to end well for you, and if you’re on a date she’ll go home with me and I’ll do it out of spite.”
Difficult as they have been, Williams doesn’t see his struggles as being on par with those encountered by people of color. “It’s slightly different for me, because I don’t get beat up by cops,” he says. “No cop wants to beat up a dwarf because I’m pretty sure that’s 13 years bad luck. The only time I get pulled over by cops is because they wonder how in the hell I’m driving.”
Or perhaps to ask for an autograph, as Williams' latest Showtime special has been drawing rave reviews, and the network wants him to do another.
“Now it puts more pressure on me to have my next hour be better than that hour," he says. "I almost have a new hour, and that’s why I’m touring now. I’m getting ready to film the next special.”
He feels the Twin Cities will be a great place to gauge the new material. “I need the audiences in Minnesota to let me kind of experiment with some stuff, but don’t worry. It’s not going to be experimental comedy, I know what’s good and funny, but I’m definitely going to be trying some stuff out.”
IF YOU GO:
Rick Bronson's House of Comedy
408 E. Broadway, Bloomington, Level 4 in the Mall of America
18+; 21+ later shows
7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday