Kattapacalypse is pretty funny, but ultimately unsatisfying and not worthy of multiple viewings. Katt Williams is a funny dude but his material here is choppy and disjointed. He comes onto the stage like a lion abut by the end is laying down with the lambs.
Movie Grade: C
DVD Grade: C-
Katt Williams has had his share of troubles off the stage with rants, arrests and an odd hoax in 2008 that said he had died in a plane crash. That same year he had retired from comedy and this year’s Kattapalyse was to serve as his comeback and he returned to the stage in a gala event on New Year's Eve 2011 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. In the video he hits the stage like the long-lost return of a people’s heavyweight champion. The show starts fast and furious, with Katt throwing himself around the stage with great vigor and shouting out his jokes.
The theme of the show revolves around the predicted Mayan apocalypse of 2012 and turns out the be unfortunate as most of the jokes involving it fall pretty flat. The n-word serves him well but its absence would render his act quite deficient in humor somewhat on the level of Mark Twain’s evaluation of the deficiencies of the Book of Mormon without “it came to pass.” Michael Jackson and Barack Obama both receive attention from Katt with mixed results. He does get off some good jokes and there are belly laughs, but overall this show fails to satisfy. Everything is too disjointed and the themes of the humor just don’t go anywhere.
The act is reasonably edgy and in-your-face aggressive. Williams shoots and scores against the racial divide throughout, skewering stereotypes on all sides. He tackles big ideas including religion, the apocalypse, and politics with a long take on Obama's presidency. He works the stage maniacally and you can often see a glint in his eye behind the mask as he goes over the edge on purpose. There are great bits of physical comedy in both his running and sliding about the stage and endless mugging for the audience. Throughout the show, Katt shouts out the while people, both informing them and querying them about their baffling behavior.
Katt Williams draws on an older style of race comedy that evokes Red Foxx, Slappy White and the Chitlin’ Circuit in a modern context. Many times black comedians were able to address subjects in their comedy that were avoided in normal discourse and serve a real purpose in breaking down stereotypes and bringing together the races by ridiculing their differences. Katt Williams is funny but it is difficult to call him a great comedian in a modern sense. Too often he seems to fall back to exploiting the stereotypes rather than transcending them. Katt has some work to do.
Given the choice of comedy videos to rent for a party, I would not put Kattapalyse on the list. Still, it is a definite for Katt completists.
The DVD includes a brief animation illustrating part of the Obama riff that is pretty funny.