The Tiny Comedian You Can't Miss
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because there’s no need to get offended.
By Libby Coleman
At the end of the show, he holds up his merch, a shirt that says, “It’s not cheating if it’s with a dwarf.” The shirt is probably a medium.
Midget. Midget. Midget. Brad Williams must have said the word more than a hundred times the night I saw him do stand-up. I’m 5 feet, and when I meet with him, I have to look down. That’s never happened before in my life. He jumped onstage and then lowered the microphone … and lowered it, and lowered it. Williams, who’s 4 feet 4 inches tall, spits jokes about himself walking through a foot and a half of snow, with stories about running in the Special Olympics, chest bumping with his six-foot-tall friend and little person activism. “My people do not march,” he says.
But they do stand-up. He’s crushing the comedy scene: one Showtime special under his belt and another upcoming called Brad Williams: Daddy Issues. And the brilliance is that he completely embraces his perspective and what makes him stand out. Williams, the dirty, loudmouthed, no-holds-barred comedian, knows that the next day, everyone at the show is going to stand at the watercooler and say to their colleagues that the night before, they saw “a midget tell jokes!” And not a person in the audience would dare challenge him on that.
OZY caught up with Williams before his set. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
OZY: What’s your favorite joke?
B.W.: How I write my jokes is Step 1: Be a dwarf; Step 2: Wait. Funny things are going to happen to you. Someone came up to me and said, “Wow, Brad, you’re a dwarf. What a coincidence … my best friend is retarded.” It’s not the same thing. It’s not the same thing. We park in the same space, but it’s not the same thing.
OZY: What do little people think of your stand-up?
B.W.: Half of them love me and think I’m the savior. Half of them want me to die. They want to take the pedal extenders off my car so I get in a horrible accident. I say the word “midget” because I like it. I don’t know what the problem is with the word — I was always told it was a horrible word and no one could tell me why it was horrible. I’m not going to be offended just because everyone else is. Midget almost sounds nice. It almost sounds French.
OZY: Did you always want to be a comedian?
B.W: I wanted to be a sports announcer. My dad prepared me to be a comedian my whole life. He’d constantly make fun of me, as a teaching tool. He was like, “You’re going to be made fun of at school because of your size, so you gotta prepare yourself.” He’d make fun of me and then say, “Hit me back.” It became a game with us. He’d win — he’s a trained lawyer. There’s nothing a heckler can yell at me that I haven’t already heard or don’t have a response for. A lot of people have stage fright, but I have people staring at me all day.