My size comedy

Brad Williams cracks Funny Bone

By Don Hurst

Early fans of Brad Williams know him from his guest spots on “Mind of Mencia” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” where he has performed as the captain of an all dwarf basketball team and scared the hell out of people as a live Chucky doll. He’s come a long way since then. Now he’s the main attraction, headlining a world tour. During his first full-length special “Fun Size,” Williams taught the audience how he writes some of his material: “Step 1. Be a dwarf. Step 2. Wait.”

Dayton City Paper caught up with Williams in anticipation of his upcoming shows at Dayton Funny Bone.

So how did you get started in comedy?

Brad Williams: I started out as a fan, hitting all the comedy shows I could. One night the comedian was making a bunch of midget jokes. Just tearing into midgets. Half the crowd was loving it, but everyone sitting near me wouldn’t laugh. They just sat there looking really uncomfortable. The comedian noticed and said, “What? Is one of them here?” So I raised my creepy little hand. Then he brought me up on stage and started asking me questions.

Man, most people would freak out. How did you feel?

BW: I was thrilled. It’s not like I had never done anything. I had taken some improv classes, so I fell back on what I learned in those lessons. I didn’t try to be funny. When you try to be funny that’s when you fail. I literally gave straight answers and that’s what got laughs. The comedian asked where I worked. I answered Disneyland and the audience started snickering. That’s when I grabbed the mic and yelled, “And no I’m not one of the seven!” They lost it, because they all thought I was one of the dwarves. It was awesome.

What happened after that?

BW: After that? I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a comedian. I hit every open mic night around. I even dropped out of college one year from graduation so I could focus on comedy. My parents were thrilled.

It took 11 years for you to get your special “Fun Size.” What kind of obstacles did you face?

BW: The same problem everyone else faces: being seen. You can be the funniest guy in the world, but if no one knows you exist then you aren’t going anywhere. You gotta build up the fan base. That’s why I tour so hard. It never stops. I’ve been coming to the Dayton Funny Bone for five years, getting my face out there. It’s hard. One network, that I won’t name, turned me down three different times. You can’t let that get to you. You have to be bigger than your challenges. I kept at it and kept at it and then Showtime took a chance on me. “Fun Size” was their number one comedy special in 2015.

What’s changed for you since “Fun Size?”

BW: Everything. I get a lot more people hitting up my shows. Yesterday, I was walking along Hollywood Boulevard and some guy stopped his car to yell out that I was awesome. That’s cool, but I was like, “Thanks, but you gotta move. You’re blocking traffic!” I have a podcast [About Last Night] that I do with my buddy Adam [Ray]. We host an insane list of comedians like Anjelah Johnson, Dana Carvey and Melissa McCarthy. I have another special due out in May on Showtime [“Daddy Issues”] and a movie coming out on Netflix with Christopher Guest.

And you’re heading to China.

BW: Yeah! It’s crazy. This June I’m touring comedy clubs in China. When people hear that they think I’m performing at military bases, but they have actual comedy clubs in China.

How did you get booked in China?

BW: I think they just want to see a comedian the same size they are. The internet has them hungry for American comedy. They can watch clips of us on YouTube, interact with us on social media, and it makes them want more. I can’t wait to get over there and spread the word.

What do you want Dayton audiences to know about your set?

BW: First, it’s not going to be an hour of dwarf jokes. I hit a lot of topics, but yeah, I’m going to address my dwarfism. I have to. If I didn’t, I think the audience would start to look around at each other and ask, “Does he know? Does he know he’s a dwarf?” That’s uncomfortable for everybody. We’ll just get that out of the way from the beginning.

It’s going to be a great show. I’m always excited to perform in Dayton. Ohio is such an untapped resource with great clubs all over the state. But to be honest, I’m really excited that I’m not performing in Ohio during the winter. Dwarves don’t do well in snow.

Brad Williams performs Thursday-Sunday, May 12–15 at the Dayton Funny Bone, 88 Plum St. in the Greene in Beavercreek. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. with additional 10 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday. Tickets range from $15 to $45 and can be purchased at daytonfunnybone.com. Doors open 30 minutes prior to the show and there is a two item minimum. For more about Brad Williams, visit his website at bradwilliamscomedy.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer Don Hurst at DonHurst@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Megan Garrison
Megan Garrison grew up in the small town of Lampasas, Texas, spending her time immersed in Ernest Hemingway novels and dreaming of being a journalist one day. Now she attends the University of Dayton and is hard at work studying to be a war-time correspondent. Though she is very goal oriented and works hard to achieve her dreams she also loves to have a little fun. She DJs her own radio show on Flyer Radio and makes it a point to attend great movies and local concerts. But her greatest love will always be books.

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