The recent admission of Katt Williams into a mental hospital made me realize a connection between being a comedic genius and having mental problems. Being funny and being crazy have always gone together, especially in black comedy. However there’s a difference between ‘Girl he’s so crazy, he’ll crack you up’ and ‘Girl he’s so crazy, stay away from him.’
Many of our most famous comedians have had issues of their own. Sometimes comedians will take their own personal tragedies and turn them into comedy and other times comedians will use their own comedic personas to get into trouble. In light of Katt Williams recent troubles with mental issues, here is our Top 5 black comedian meltdowns.
1. Richard Pryor Setting Himself on Fire.
Although he managed to turn his traumatic, tragic experience, burning himself while free-basing on cocaine, he also shed light onto his struggles with women and drugs. Richard’s wife at the time, Jennifer Pryor said that he poured high proof rum on himself set himself on fire in a drug induced suicide attempt and that he said that it was an accident for press reasons.
Hear Richard Pryor Talk About Burning Up
2. Martin Lawrence in the Middle of the Street Threatening People With a Gun
In 1997, Lawrence had a meltdown. In LA he ran out into Ventura Blvd with a gun and threatened tourists and random people. Sources say that Lawrence began taking psychotropic drugs and having violent outbursts on the set of his movie, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. Martin would continue his erratic behavior, getting arrested for gun possession, going to rehab and sexually harassing his Martin co-star, Tisha Campbell.
Watch Martin Discuss His Gun in the Middle of the St. Incident
3. Dave Chappelle Goes to Africa
Dave Chappelle was at the top of the world when he left his popular show and 50 million dollars to go to South Africa. Rumors spread widely about him having mental or drug problems.In 2004 during a stand up appearance in California, Chappelle said that ‘The show is ruining my life,’ that he disliked working 20 hours a day and that the show was ruining his stand up career.
You know why my show is good? Because the network officials say you’re not smart enough to get what I’m doing, and every day I fight for you. I tell them how smart you are. Turns out, I was wrong. You people are stupid.
In South Africa, he told Time magazine:
Coming here I don’t have the distractions of fame. It quiets the ego down. I’m interested in the kind of person I’ve got to become. I want to be well rounded and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well balanced. I’ve got to check my intentions, man.
Watch Dave Chappelle Discuss Mental Issues and His Trip to South Africa
4. Eddie Murphy Picks Up a Tranny in LA
Although technically not a meltdown, Murphy got a lot of attention for picking up a a transsexual prostitute in Los Angeles. Although the prostitute was arrested, Murphy was let go by LA police but made the tabloid media for the incident. The transsexual prostitute, Atisone Kenneth Seiuli, said that Murphy asked him if he did this for a living, being a transsexual prostitute and that he said yes and that Eddie asked, ‘Do you like to wear lingerie…..Can I see you in lingerie?’ According to the prostitute, Eddie asked ‘What type of sex do you like’Murphy’s version was different. He said “I’m married with three children. I’m not going to be out there screwing hookers off the street or anything like that. I’m just being a nice guy I was being a good Samaritan. It’s not the first hooker I’ve helped out. I’ve seen hookers on corners and I’ll pull over and they’ll go, ‘Oh you’re Eddie Murphy, oh my God,’ and I’ll empty my wallet out to help.”
Despite his early anti-homosexual humor, Murphy has been rumored to engage in homosexual behavior. Many have been speculating that he is involved with his roommate and former New Edition frontman, Johnny Gill.
Watch Eddie Murphy Make Fun of Homosexuals
5. Katt Williams is Admitted to a Mental Home in South Carolina
Williams has had a lot of speculation about his mental condition recently. He caused a big stir when he missed the his job hosting the BET Hip Hop Awards and an appearance on Conan O’Brien. Sources say that he got into an argument with a female dancer and stormed offstage at the BET Hip Hop Awards, refusing to host the show. He later missed an appearance on the Conan O’Brien show and was arrested later that evening for gun possession while coming out of rapper, Jim Jones’ studio in New York. He then resurfaced in South Carolina in a bathrobe squatting in front of a motel door and was put in a mental institution by his family.
Watch Local News In South Carolina Cover Katt Williams’ Breakdown