Boar Of Trustee
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Michael Williams started his career in entertainment working with Quincy Jones Productions in 1976. In the early 80’s, Williams began to follow-up on an interest he had in comedy. Attending comedy showcases around the area and throughout the country, Williams experienced a wealth of “refreshing” African American talent, but found, however, no organized efforts to promote and market comedy to African American audiences.
In 1986, The Comedy Act Planet (formerly Comedy Act Theatre) was developed in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. The successful venture was the spawning ground for a wealth of African American talent, as well as a venue for many of the industry’s best-known African American comedians such as Chris Tucker, Mark Curry, Eddie Murphy, Robert Townsend, Damon Wayans and a mad number of other comedians. The late Robin Harris routinely served as emcee at The Comedy Act Theatre (CAT).
In 12 years, the CAT had become an important institution, and a much-needed venue giving Black comedians from across the country a stage to sharpen their skills. At the same time, it was known as a hip showcase for the stars. It was the bedrock (mecca) for the present day African American comedy movement.
With the opening of a second Comedy Act Theatre in Atlanta, in March 1990, and Chicago in 1992, Williams established himself as the foremost promoter of African American comedians. His comedy stores consistently give African American talent top billing — the first and only clubs to do so in the nation. The CAT’s down home ambiance attracted a clientele that covers the spectrum.
Michael Williams has been solely responsible for nurturing and launching the careers of most of the country’s superstar Black comedians. He is The Godfather of Comedy.