Michael Williams, the “Godfather of Comedy” Talks About the Beginnings of Black Stand Up in America

Cirina Catania, the host of OWC RADiO, talks with Michael Williams, the Godfather of Comedy!

If laughter is the best medicine, the doctor is in!

Imagine living in LA in 1985 and being an African-American fan of stand up comedy but having nowhere to go to see comedians who resonated with you!

Michael Williams had the unique idea to open a comedy club that featured all-black stand up comedians tailored to and reflecting the culture of his African American race. It had never been done before, but the results were pure magic.

This conversation is about what happens when one hard-working person has the courage to try something completely new.

It is about changing the world. It’s about giving a voice in the ’80s to what, at the time, was an under-represented culture. It is about creating a legacy and passing on wisdom to the next generation. And…it is about having fun, poking fun, healing wounds and finding joy.

If these themes interest you, get ready for another great episode of OWC RADiO as Cirina Catania interviews Michael Williams, the real Godfather of Comedy.

Michael was honored during a celebration of African American history, on the 4th of February, 2020, at the City Hall in Los Angeles. The world has been too quiet for too long about this selfless pioneer. We hope he will continue to get the recognition he so well deserves. The exhibit honoring Michael and several of America’s most popular comedians is entitled, “Stand Up: Art and Politics in Comedy” and will remain on display for the entire month of February.

Follow whats next in 2020 here: https://www.comedyactplanet.com

For more about our host, filmmaker, tech maven and co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival, Cirina Catania, visit cirinacatania.com.

If you enjoy our podcast, please subscribe and tell all your friends about us!

We love our listeners. And, if you have ideas for segments, write to OWCRadio@catania.us. Cirina is always up for new ideas!

In This Episode

  • 00:08 – Cirina introduces Michael Williams, the Godfather of Comedy. He opened a comedy club that featured all-black stand up comedians and was tailored to and reflecting the African American culture.
  • 04:23 – Michael shares the first time he saw TJ McGee on stage performing at the Comedy Store.
  • 07:42 – Michael shares that Robin Harris was his first host and how he was unique to everybody who knew him.
  •  14:21 – Michael shares how he encourages people and gives them chances if they want to be a comedian.
  • 18:54 – Michael shares how he inspires comedians to have freedom of expression, allowing them to be themselves.
  • 24:21 – Michael shares the story of how he opened his third club in Atlanta, and how he had to rebuild it in less than four months. 
  • 27:18 – Michael shares the names of the comedians he helped with their careers, including Chris Rock.
  • 32:07 – Michael shares the impact on the audience and the connection to the comedian in watching live comedy.
  • 36:01 – Michael shares how some comedians perform on stage to cope up with their life struggles.
  • 39:34 – Visit Michael William’s website comedyactplanet.com to learn more and stay updated.

Jump to Links and Resources


This is Cirina Catania with OWC Radio, and I’m here at CES, and I ran into Michael Williams. I’m so excited. This man, this young man is the godfather of comedy. That’s your Nickname, right?

A lot of people say that.

So why CES? What are you doing here? 

When I first started my business, which was in 1985, technology like it is today, it was just not here. 

Not even close.

I didn’t have a computer, I didn’t have a cell phone, I didn’t have a fax machine. Even though I had access to a fax machine, that was that paper that would soon fade when exposed to the sun. I forgot what it was called.

We all got stuck with thermal paper.

Yeah. Thermal paper, that’s what it’s called.

And if you didn’t file it right, it can get away from the air.

Exactly. This was at the age of like the dawning of the next wave of creation because so much imagination and creativity were coming on board. And technology was moving so fast, it was here today and gone tomorrow, obsolete. And so I had to eventually catch up with everything to make my life and my business more proficient. Because I had started something from the ground, basically, at birth, the effort to have the first black comedy club and chain of comedy clubs in the country, simply because there was no effort to have black comedians have a home of their own. They weren’t booking them because they were told to either “tone it down,” or they were “too black,” or they weren’t trying to invite an audience that they would be bringing with them. Because they had their audience, and they knew how they wanted to entertain their audience, which is understandable. At the time, that’s what they wanted. When I saw the opportunity to start a facility where not only black comedians had a home, the black audience had a place to call home also, because nobody was really inviting them. And when I understood psychologically, for the most part in this country, there was no outlet for a daily dose of humor for African Americans, because there were no facilities for that across the country to go see live stand up comedy by their own people.

And when was this in like the 60s? When was this?

This was in 1985, and I just turned 32 that year. And my career in entertainment wasn’t going as well as I had hoped. I was a concert promoter, I was an event producer, and I wasn’t getting the contracts that I had hoped I would have gotten along the way. And so one night I just said, I need to go somewhere and lift my spirits, and the only thing I can think of was a comedy club, but within my community, there were no comedy clubs. So North, I went to Hollywood. I knew of two clubs, the Hollywood Improv and the Comedy Store, and so I just happened to go to the Comedy Store. And upon going there, they took my money and maybe bought two drinks on the spot.

At that very moment, I realized I could actually bring something new to my community. I saw my people didn’t know where to go because it's not a service provided to us, and I knew I had to fill that gap. Click To Tweet

Two expensive drinks.

Yeah. I was the first person in the club, and as the room started to fill, that’s when the show began. And it was a guy that happened to just be a white guy, no big thing. But it was white after white after white comic, and they weren’t funny. I wasn’t getting my money’s worth. I felt like I’ve been robbed. I wanted to lift my spirits, not somewhere that cuts my throat. I wanted to laugh, and I wanted to feel good. And so finally, I see a black guy come into the room, and I said about time that I’m not the only black here now. I got somebody I can at least say, “Hey, somebody else is here that looks like me,” but I noticed he made a turn towards the backstage of the room. And I said, “Well, maybe he’s a comedian, and he’s performing.” It turned out he was performing, and he was the last comedian of the evening, and I said to myself, “White people always put the black folks on last.”

Oh no. Who was it?

His name was TJ McGee, and unfortunately, TJ McGee passed away about six months ago of a heart attack. But anyway, when he got on stage and started doing his routine, he turned out to be worse than all the other guys before him. And I’m like, “Come on, brother, give me something, give me a little bit of my money’s worth and make the race proud.” And it really wasn’t until he did his last bit, and what he did was, he put on a big old green robe, look like a choir robot in church, then he grabs a book, and he opens it up, and he starts to mimic a preacher like an old black Baptist preacher. And I said to myself, I can relate to that I grew up in a black Baptist Church and I remember how they talked. I said, Man, this would be great if it was all black. And at that very moment, the light went on, and I realized I could actually bring something like this to life. Because if I had to come and find it, then that means my people who I consider if I didn’t know where to go, or if I only knew where to go, then it wasn’t really for us, then my people don’t know where to go, because it’s not a service provided to us. 

Right. Absolutely.

And that was March 85. August 85 I was in business and the rest is history because the explosion of the greatest group of black comedians in the history of this country exploded out of just the efforts that I instilled into wanting to bring comedy to the black community.

That’s awesome. So tell us about some of the first people. I hope you don’t mind us going into history because I know everybody wants to talk to you about this. But there’s a whole new generation of kids that don’t know about this. 

And so that first generation of comics included people like-and to me, he was my all-time favorite, even though he passed away, and even though people complain about him taking up all the time on stage, because he was actually my host, and I built the club around him. Because he was that one culturally black comedian that the white clubs said, “No, you’re too black,” and “You need to tone it down. We’re really not looking for you.” That’s who I ended up having as my first host from the day I started to the day before he passed away, his name was Robin Harris. And Robin Harris was the guy that coined the story that turned into an animated film called Bébé’s Kids. And everybody back then was really jealous that he was the backbone of black comedy, everybody in the country traveled to see him, comedic wise. I mean, everybody from Chris Rock to Eddie Murphy, Dave Chappelle to Kim Coles and Bill Bellamy, and just on and on. Everybody wanted to come to see who this guy was because single-handedly, he just held court every single night at the club. People were lined up early, just to see him, and when I say that, the comics were upset because he would dominate. I knew it was something special about him. That’s why I never really got irritated or wanted to, like squeeze him to like, “Come on, man, you can’t just keep dominating.”


I knew something was rare about him, and that’s why I kind of felt from the day of the first show that our relationship was not going to last. Either was the industry going to take them from me or death. And it ended up that death took him away. 

I’m sorry. 

Yeah. Not even four or five years of his living there, but he loaded up so much of his talent that he still lives today because a lot of people don’t know who he is, but everybody knows who Bébé’s Kids are. The history of the comedy act theater is the generation that truly does need to know because, in the beginning, I dealt with maybe 30-40 comedians. Now there are thousands upon thousands of comedians, not just here in the United States but now all over the world because a lot of countries were able to see what we were doing over here because when it exploded, and when cable and television got hold of it, and watch the germination of now a new crop of talent that is really starting to say, “Hey, we are here now. And we’re about to dominate this industry,” that’s when it started to spread across the world because you have thriving communities and a lot of people who don’t know this, in places like Kenya and Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, South Africa, the UK, the Caribbean. You got comedians now all over the place, and some of these individuals are multimillionaires because their country needs entertainment too, and everybody pays for entertainment.

Everybody needs to laugh once in a while. So I’m curious because it took a lot of guts, it took a lot of stick-to-itiveness. What got you to the point where you were strong enough to make this happen? Because this is huge.

When I saw the opportunity to bring this endeavor to light, although I didn’t have any money, in essence, I was down to my last $1,000, and it didn’t matter that I just had $1,000. Because at first, I said, “I can’t spend this money, this is all the money I got,” and then a voice, “but you’re broke, $1,000 there’s no money, spin the money.” And that’s exactly what I did, I use my last $1,000 to bring to life, to organize a black comedy. And there was a point when I just said I have to will this into existence because it was really not just an opportunity to start a business, it was an opportunity really to heal, what I considered a race that needed it because we just didn’t have it. And as a little boy, I always felt a duty to my race to be a servant, but I didn’t know how. And when the light came on that night, I felt like; now I understand my purpose, my duty, my call, the service, and that’s what I did. And so it was never about the money, it was because money is just a tool, like a hammer and a nail, we just use it to make things grow or build a foundation, and that’s what I did. And so I just believed in myself, and I just believed that there was this strong urge to just bring something to life that didn’t really exist, and I was determined to do that. And there was nothing; there was nobody that could get in the way of that I just didn’t allow it. 

It was never about the money. Money is just a tool, like a hammer and a nail. We just use it to make things grow or build a foundation. Click To Tweet

That’s awesome. That’s courageous. But you know what, when that voice speaks to you, and you listen, isn’t it amazing what can happen?

Because there were times when, for example, when I saw the opportunity that night, that I had a chance to bring something to life, it took me a while to sleep, then I started having dreams of being on stage in front of thousands of thousands of people. And what was odd about that dream was, I could never see my face, and I was always looking at the back of me. And then it dawned on me, that wasn’t me, that was the show I put on, with the relationship between the performer and the audience who never really knew each other. And I was basically creating a match between two groups that were like, Where have you been? I’ve been looking for you. And now that I got you. I’m not letting you go. We’re married. We’re waiting till death do us part.

Good comedy comes from a very deep place. I don’t think a lot of people appreciate that or understand that, and the world has changed a lot since the mid-80s. And I think you helped to change it, you really did, and it’s evolving all the time. I like to think it’s getting better. I don’t know. I hope it is, but I’m glad there are people like you out there, doing what you do. It’s just pretty wonderful.

Yeah, and that was something that I learned because really it was like on the job training for me. I had never really dealt with those many different personalities at one time, and I didn’t realize that I was bringing into my circle a group of individuals that, once they saw the opportunity, had this thirst and hunger to want to be this great performer. I didn’t realize what I was really initiating, because it became this beast that was thirsty for recognition. Not only was that coming from the performers, but the audience was also demanding more and more and more, because they realized, “Wow, we’ve never been fed this before. And we want more.” And so the demand was on both me to satisfy my audience and at the same time to satisfy the talent by bringing more and more energy to the table, meaning I had to continue to push the comedians to get better. I had to encourage more people that wanted to be comedians to take a chance. So I’ve never auditioned anybody, if somebody said, “I want to be a comedian, I think I can do this,” and I say, “Well, you’re on next.”

Wow, and you scare the heck out of them, didn’t you? That’s really hard to do.

And they will say, “I don’t know,” and I’ll say, “Well then when you’re ready, come back and see me, and you’ll be going on.” And some people got on right then and there. And even if they bombed, it was okay. 

It’s like breaking the shell or cracking the egg.

Right. Because I told them I said, “This is where you have to take chances. The stage is where you * up till you get it right over and over and over, and don’t worry about anything,” because the audience at the time-see everybody was new to each other. So there were allowances for everybody to kind of like we were saying where we were new. And so I noticed that a lot of the performers just got more and more confidence in themselves in time. And then one day, you just see the light come on, whereas they were saying the same thing for weeks. Just as one night somebody laughed, that ignited the audience that was like, “Oh, we didn’t get it back then, but we get it now.” And so you just saw where that relationship just came together. And everybody was now in sync with each other, and it was just a love relationship. I mean, I love relationships because again, for somebody to be an adult and realize they have never laughed like this in their life, and to have somebody on stage recognize that they’ve never been listened to, and appreciated. So in essence, you have this cultural voice that is being heard, and a cultural voice that’s being expressed, and for so many people, that was a first time experience.

You have a cultural voice that needs to be heard, and expressed. For so many people, that is a first time experience.

You made me cry.

I don’t want you to cry. But that was the strength of a really organized effort to raise black comics and a black audience to have a voice within the entertainment industry that, for the most part, was neglected.

Wow. And now oh my gosh.

Nails off the chart. 

It’s like night and day, isn’t it? 


How do you feel about that?

I feel great that I was able to do something. And the one thing that was most recognizable was the fact that when you allow somebody the freedom of expression, just to be themselves. In other words, the one thing that I learned most important about that period was that all I had to do was get out of everybody’s way, and just let them be themselves. Yes, there were certain things I didn’t want, like, I didn’t want too much profanity, or I didn’t want too much of the N-word use because not everybody listens or responds to that, but I wanted people to explore what was inside of them, just to bring out who and what they were or what they are. And that was when a lot of comics were like, I can just be me then, and when I had my audience sometimes come to me with displeasure saying, “These people, they’re not funny. They’re not that good. My mother’s better than them, my uncle’s better than them, my cousin’s better, my little brother’s better than them.” And I will say, “Then bring him in tomorrow. We’ll get him on stage.” And that happened on a few occasions.

And did it work? Were they funny?

Yeah. And then other people were bringing their friends supporting their friends cause they said, “You’re funny girl, you’re better than them,” And then all of a sudden, they collectively say, “We’ll give you $50 if you get on stage,” her name is Melanie Comarcho. And my sister that night saw her because she was able to get on stage that night, and my sister said, “You need to come back again, maybe tomorrow night.” Now she’s one of the more powerful comedians around.

Yeah, that’s amazing.

She sometimes opens for Chris Tucker.

If a young comedian walked up to you today and said, “How can I be better at my craft? What do I need to know to be better at what I do?” What would you tell them?

I would tell them first; how often do you get on stage? Because you need to get on stage. That’s the only way you’re going to get better. Two, what is your point of view? Just what is it that you want to tell everybody what’s coming out of your center? And then I would ask them how much do you read? How often do you write? How often do you talk to people? Black, white, green, yellow, 150 years old, six months old, how often do you find these different stories, these different personalities that is just a kaleidoscope of what we are all about? I mean, there is a story from everybody, because our eyes can only see what we see. But millions of eyes see what we haven’t seen, and those experiences are what is really a sum total of what humanity is all about. It’s just great when somebody can tell it in a story or in an entertaining routine, and that’s what I tell comics to think about. But I also tell them that if you are not serious, then this is something you should leave alone because this is really only for those that want to be great.

You have to take chances. The stage is where you mess up over and over till you get it right. Click To Tweet

Meaning this is a profession that one has to look at and say, I’m better than Chris Tucker, I’m better than Jamie Foxx, I’m better than every comedian that’s ever been and will be. I’m number one. Because now that the numbers are greater, the fight to get there is harder, and you really have to fight to get in front of the crowd. Because the people that I just named, they really didn’t have anybody in front of them. So Richard Pryors and the Redd Foxxes and just a lot of other comedians that were both black and white didn’t really have that group of people in front of them because time and generation was the space between them. When I started, this was an emerging group, performing to, again, a generation of people that have never been to an organized effort to see comedy. So everything was brand new. And the Richard Pryors and the Redd Foxxes were generations above they were a little older, even though their careers were like, picked up and celebrated by this group now, because I made sure that they had a chance to see these people.

You were battling more than just finding good comedians too. You’re battling the whole subculture of can we build the business? And can we get the money to sustain this? And how do we reach our audience and all of that stuff? Which wasn’t easy back then, I mean, you’ve got the mind for it, obviously.

Well, again, I was determined to bring it to life. There was nothing that could stop me. So whatever I had to do, I did. And one of the things that I think I did more than anything was selling the idea of something missing in one’s life that needed to be filled. And that’s what I did. For example, when I opened up my third comedy club in Atlanta, I leased a building that had been abandoned for like two years. It needed air conditioning, heating, roof, and needed bathrooms and inventory. It needed tables, chairs, lights, sound, and it needed everything you can imagine just to get it up and running. And I was given four months of free rent to do that, and I still have to get a liquor license. And so again, I was faced with no money, meaning I negotiated the deal, I paid $19,000, which was first last and security. They gave me four months of free rent at the time, and I only hit $23,000 to work with. So now I got $4,000 left to do everything in four months before I had to pay my first month’s lease. Again, I willed everything into existence. Because I am working during the winter, in the cold, in an abandoned building that now I have to remodel and refurbished and all that. And in the evenings, I had to change clothes, and go out and network, meet organizations, I looked in the book and directories, and I would ask if I could come to speak to their organizations just to introduce myself. That’s how I started building my network, and then I was just selling something that, again, nobody had in their life. I had to convince them that they didn’t realize that they didn’t have what they didn’t know was there for them. 

Yeah. You don’t know what you don’t know. 

Right. And it was really day one, that when I opened the doors because I got it ready, I got a liquor license the week before I opened, it just all fell into place. And I gave opportunities to comedians that I felt were serious about their careers. I brought them from Los Angeles to Atlanta. I had four comedians from LA, and I had, I think, two or three comedians from Atlanta that I’ve met, I said, “Hey, I need you all to open up the show,” and again, I stepped back and got out on everybody’s way because it was the relationship between the talent and the audience that I was initiating. And one lady named Ajai Sanders from LA, and another comedian named Joe Torry from LA, another guy named Chris Charles from LA, and another amateur that now is kind of big-time is D.L. Hughley, and this again was just to show them, hey, if this is what you really want, then this is what it is. So that was their first gig on the road, that was March 1990. April 1990, I ended up bringing to Atlanta, my first $1,000 a show comedian, we did Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I was already selling out Friday and Saturday, and I said, I’m not giving that money on the weekend nights. This is where we’re gonna do it, and we ended up doing two shows a night, that was Chris Rock, who I think still on Saturday Night Live would just come off as Saturday Night Live. But that was a $1,000 show, and we did six shows on the first night. So after the first show on the first night, he came to me, and he said, “Hey, man, these other two comics are stealing all the laughter before I can get to the crowd. So stick me in the middle of them, my money stays the same. But I need to make sure I can get to them because the first two comics were so…” how can I say it, when you have something new people are excited. In other words, this is brand new, so they just really buy into it. And again, to see a nucleus of talent that was really superior at the time. In other words, these guys have been doing it now for three or four years. So they were polished now, and so this new audience was getting Class A hundred percent sirloin.

All you have to do is get out of everybody’s way and just let yourself be.

Yeah. Grass-fed grass, top sirloin. 

So when Chris Rock said, put me in the middle of these two guys. He didn’t even know these guys, and those guys were, the first one was Joe Torry, and the second one who closed out the show was Jamie Foxx. That was April 1990.

What a great memory. Just a wonderful memory, isn’t it? 

Yeah. And it brings a lot of joy to me, and it brings a lot of how can I say? It’s like I did good.



Well, you followed your instructions. 

Yeah. It’s like I didn’t do too bad. 

No, you did great.

Even though sometimes I say, “Wow, people don’t appreciate sometimes what you’ve done for them or even recognize the importance of what one person has done.” And I brought to life an industry.

You did. So what’s new on the horizon? What’s going on now? 

That’s why I’m here at CES. I’ve been coming now for I think this is my fourth year, and I recognize that technology is here to stay. And what took years to build in some places, it’s like taking weeks in other places. In other words, you don’t have to lay the wire in the ground, I had to dig no more ditches, you don’t have to string up any more poles, everything’s in on that. And so, now people have wireless connectivity all over the globe, and it’s shortening the distance between being able to do something that would have taken weeks and months to do to just days and maybe weeks because you can just connect right then and there and bring in a whole new community right at the touch of a button.

Do you think there’s any difference in the impact that live comedy makes versus comedy that you might watch on the big or little screen or on your phone? Is there something being in the live audience that helps connect with the comedian more, or does this really make a difference?

Well, the live audience is the experience for those that are there because it’s live. But it’s also easier sometimes to just sit back and watch it on your television or your tablet, phone because you can see a lot more of a variety. For example, if you look at a YouTube video and there are similar videos that you’re watching one after the other, it is still entertaining because these are to a degree in front of a live audience. Then it may switch to some kind of a little sitcom or something that somebody created and that’s making the variety of the entertainment medium that much more for some entertaining because they can get a lot more than going out. And they’re not spending any money, and they’re not going through traffic. It’s kind of like it’s free.

Yeah, it is. There’s also something though about being in the middle of a live audience when that laughter catches, and you can feel the energy in the room. That’s still kind of cool, although I do like watching at home too. I don’t know; there’s something about it. 

But it’s giving the generations that are coming an opportunity to see what it’s gonna be like when they’re able to go. So I didn’t grow up watching live stand-up comedy, that didn’t exist for me, it didn’t really exist for a lot of us because we weren’t there. For example, in 1995 or 1998, I forgot, my niece was graduating from elementary school, going to middle school. And I’ll never forget when the kids were walking across the stage, and they were getting their little diplomas, and they were announcing what they plan to be when they get big. And one little boy said, “When I grow up, I’m gonna be a football player and a comedian,” and everybody, the whole room just went berserk, laughing. And then later, another little boy said, “I want to be a fireman, and I want to be a comedian,” and then I said, “What have I done?” I realized I had penetrated a generation, the generation below me, because now they see it for themselves. And they see the possibility that I can do that. I mean, little kids, I can do that. I want to be just like Chris Tucker, or Jamie Foxx, and now they’re in their 20s.

Sell the idea of something missing in one’s life that needs to be filled.

I think it’s wonderful because comedy is about telling a story sharing your cultural similarities, right? To understand a comedian, I think you have to understand you have to feel part of that culture. So you have to be there, and you have to get the underpinnings of what’s being discussed. And you were saying that before we started recording, you talked about some of that coming from pain, coming from hard times, and helping people. We didn’t get this far into it, but I do think that if you can come from pain and if you can share that in a way that helps other people understand that others go through the same thing, then you’re giving them the strength to get through it. Am I right about that? 

Yeah, you are. It was on the job training for me, and I was learning about human nature and for the most part, what makes up a human being and its psychology, because I didn’t know initially that a lot of these people who were wanting to perform had issues. Whatever they may have been, I didn’t know that’s what drove them to find a place to let that go. And to hear some of the stories along the way, I said, “Oh, that’s why you’re on stage, you need this stuff out,” it’s some dark stuff, some deep stuff, and not all that, some are just things that happened that affected them in a way where they held onto it and never knew how to let go off. And comedy was one way of just letting go, being able to just throw it back out there. Get it off this soul and just feel human. That’s what was so great to see that transformation because you realize that some of them still struggle. But that’s their way of coping.

It’s healing. It’s definitely very strong healing. I’m so happy to have met you. 


It was nice talking to you. So for those who are going to be listening to this, it is very noisy in this room. We are in the media room at CES, and unfortunately, the ceilings are open. So I do hope that you’re going to be able to understand what Mr. Williams has been talking about because he’s really made a difference in the world with the introduction of his comedy, and all these wonderful comedians that he’s helped along the way. And I know that you’re just getting started. You’re not done yet. 

Oh, no, I’m a youngster. 

You are.

I got a global community going after right now.

Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, anything that we can do to help, and I want to thank OWC Radio for sponsoring this, so I get the pleasure of talking to wonderful people like you. I was very moved by what you were saying, and I think that anyone like you, that can come in and help others with what you do. You really did listen to that big voice that came to you and said, “This is it, a light went on,” you had the courage and the strength and the fortitude to do it, and that’s just really amazing.

Because I didn’t do it for me. 


It wasn’t about me. I just saw myself as an estimate to be used, and I just went to work.

Well, we’re glad you did. And we hope we get to talk to you again, maybe under quieter circumstances, but thank you for listening and where can people go to find out more about you and what you do?

Well, they can go simply to my website, which is comedyactplanet.com.

Comedyactplanet.com, do it, go there, visit it, learn more. And we’ll hopefully have you back on very soon. Thanks again for OWC, and you guys, you know what I tell you every time, get up off your chair and go do something wonderful today. Thank you.

Thank you. 


  1. Stay updated on technology. Life, in general, runs more efficiently with the help of computers, apps, and the Internet. Use it to your advantage, but use it moderately. 
  2. Cultivate an innovative mind and an altruistic spirit. Find ways to fill the gap in your life or community. 
  3. Strike while the iron is hot. Don’t miss out on great opportunities because of your fears and doubt.
  4. Don’t just do it for the money. Doing things you don’t have a passion for usually will eventually wear you out. What’s most important is that you love what you do. The rest will follow. 
  5. Have a deep sense of community. You can’t do everything on your own and you’ll go further in life when you make yourself part of a loyal tribe.
  6. Give back. Share your blessings, knowledge, and skills in the hopes that someone else will keep the mission going. 
  7. Keep improving your craft. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. People, trends, and society evolve. Best to always stay ahead of the game.
  8. Develop an inquisitive mind. Read books, stay informed, talk to different types of people. The more knowledge you acquire, the more powerful you become.
  9. Keep seeking what thrills you. Don’t lose the fun. At the end of the day, it’s important that you’re happy.
  10. Visit Michael Williams’ website, Comedy Act Planet, to learn more about his legacy.


If you work in tech and haven’t heard about MacSales.com, you’ve had your head in the sand. Other World Computing, under the leadership of Larry O’Connor since he was 15 years old, has expanded to all corners of the world and works every day to create hardware that makes the lives of creatives and business-oriented companies faster, more efficient and more stable. Go to OWCDigital.com for more information.

Here’s the company’s official mission statement:

At OWC, we’re committed to constant innovation, exemplary customer service, and American design. 

For more than 25 Years, OWC has had a simple goal. To create innovative DIY solutions to give you the most from your technology.

Beginning with 100% compatible memory upgrades, reliably exceeding Apple’s maximum RAM specs, OWC’s product offering has grown to encompass the entire spectrum of upgrade and expansion possibilities, all with a focus on easy, DIY setup and installation. 

Our dedication to excellence and sustainable innovation extends beyond our day-to-day business and into the community. We strive for zero waste, both environmentally and strategically. Our outlook is to the long term, and in everything we do, we look for simplicity in action and sustainability in practice.

For us, it’s as much about building exceptional relationships, as it is about building exceptional products.

2 comments on “Michael Williams, the “Godfather of Comedy” Talks About the Beginnings of Black Stand Up in America

  1. Ellen Jones says:

    Help my son is a black sport journalist looking for some one like You Michael Williams to help him get a break!

    1. OWCProducer says:

      Thank you for writing and we wish your son all the best. Your email is being forwarded!

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