Katt Williams has long mentioned himself as one of the greatest comedians of a generation, if not all-time. Verzuz has evolved as a platform where fans want to see two of their favorite groups or artists square up, it’s also become a place where old issues get settled.
Not long after Damon Wayans issued a challenge to Dave Chappelle for the first comedian Verzuz, Williams in a recent interview said he wanted to get Kevin Hart in the arena once and for all but made clear the only peer he has in comedy is Richard Pryor.
“It’s almost cheating for me. I have over 10 specials,” Williams said. “I don’t have to pick but two jokes from each special and I’ve already deaded anyone whose last name isn’t Pryor anyway.”
Williams also added comedy “beefing” is his lane and he’d been doing it long before Swizz Beatz and Timbaland launched Verzuz in 2020. The Verzuz challenge isn’t the first time Williams has issued a challenge to Hart. In 2016, he wanted a $5 million battle with Hart after the two went back and forth on social media. For Williams, the battle with him and Hart wouldn’t even be about money. Instead, it would strictly be for sport and the love of the game.
“On that stage, we can put whatever you want: a full-court basketball court, a boxing ring, two microphones for a rap cypher, or you can get your ass dusted in comedy on that stage,” Williams said in the 2016 clip. “And since you not a puppet, don’t bring no white people with you then.”
Hart finally spoke up against Williams in a 2018 interview while promoting the movie Night School alongside Tiffany Haddish. After Williams said Haddish didn’t work as hard as other female comedians, Hart went on the offensive, saying Williams’ issues weren’t with Hart but rather himself for not living up to his potential as a mainstream great.
“My frustration with Katt Williams comes from, you keep pointing at Hollywood. ‘Hollywood this, the White man this and this,’ when are you going to take responsibility for your actions? You had the shot! You were the guy! You were set up to be the star,” Hart. “You didn’t show up to work. You f*cked off promo shoots. You f*cked off your promo trips that they set up for you. You became a risk to the studios, which is why the studios stopped f*cking with you.”
Hart added, “So when you say Tiffany Haddish doesn’t deserve or isn’t really a comedian and these other women have worked hard, which they have. Katt Williams, have you ever used your platform to f*cking bring the people under you up? You haven’t! So because you haven’t, don’t sh*t on those that are!”
A year later, Williams would win his first career Emmy for his guest performance on the FX series Atlanta.