Baltimore radio personality Persia Nicole asked Williams on Sept. 15 if he would be open to doing a “Verzuz” battle with fellow comedian Kevin Hart. Williams and Hart are both people who have gained major success in comedy and have expanded into film. Because of their success, fans often compare them, debating on social media platforms which of the two is the better comedian. Not to mention that Williams and Hart have had their own beef before.
“I started ‘Verzuz,’” Williams said in his response to Nicole. “The first ‘Verzuz’ ever promoted was Steve Harvey versus Katt Williams. It was the underground ‘King of Comedy’ ‘Verzuz’ and sold as ‘Verzuz.’ So we don’t me to ask me if I would have any interest in things that I am the originator of.”
Williams was referring to more than 12 years ago when he publicly challenged Steve Harvey to take him on at the New Year’s Eve “2008 Championship of Comedy” show they co-headlined at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Harvey didn’t take the bait that night and decided to be positive. Williams, on the other hand, took shots at Harvey during his set for the show.
“Comedically beefing is my lane. It’s almost cheating for me,” he said. He continued by listing some of his success in the field to prove why a “Verzuz” between him and Hart would be no competition. “I have over 10 specials. So I don’t have to pick but two jokes from each special and I’ve already deaded anybody whose last named ain’t Pryor anyway,” he said, referring to comedy legend Richard Pryor.
The 50-year-old added, “We don’t want to add 52 movies, we certainly don’t want to add 11 specials, we certainly don’t want to add 49 television appearances, we don’t want to add an Emmy. It’s almost a battle we can’t really afford to be in, because he’s on his 16th 100-city tour. So it probably don’t match up the way you think it match up. So I’m saying I wouldn’t involve me.”
There’s been a rift between Williams and Hart for years. YouTube’s Comedy Hype alleged it started when the “Ride Along” star was cast to play Williams’ character in the 2008 movie “Fool’s Gold,” a part Williams could not play due to his legal woes at the time. In 2013, the “Friday After Next” star claimed he didn’t have a problem with Hart but said “I want my crown back.”
Fast forward to 2016 during his show on his “Conspiracy Theory” tour, and Williams inveighed that Hart was just a Hollywood “puppet.” But it was his 2018 comments that fans of the two remember best.
During an interview with Atlanta radio station V-103, Williams said comedians like Jerrod Carmichael, Lil Rel, Hannibal Burress, and Hart were unattractive, and that’s why they became stars. He said, “You’re making them movie stars? Why? Because you know ain’t nobody gon’ sleep with them.”
He also named Tiffany Haddish, who was up and coming at the time, and said she hadn’t “proven the ability to tell jokes back to back.” Just days later both Haddish and Hart appeared on “The Breakfast Club” to promote their movie “Night School,” and this is when Hart took the time to address some of Williams’ gibes.
Hart claimed Williams continues to blame Hollywood for his downfall and said he was a risk to studios because “he chose drugs.”
He later said, “Take responsibility for what you did. …Tiffany Haddish got years in the game. It’s not an accident that Tiffany Haddish got the opportunity to star in a movie.”
It looks like there will be no “Verzuz” happening between these two.