OAKLAND — Angry fans demanded refunds after comedian Katt Williams‘ show Friday night at Oracle Arena disintegrated into chaos, with Williams delivering rambling monologues devoid of jokes and being dragged off by his own security after he challenged a heckler to fight.
Williams was already facing legal trouble over his stop in Oakland, with police arresting him in connection with a Wednesday night brawl aboard a tour van and the man he allegedly assaulted promptly suing for damages.
After Friday night’s show, angry comments from fans poured in on Facebook and Twitter, with some complaining that Williams’ show had ended after 10 minutes. Many said they expected a refund; ticket prices ranged from $33 to $94, plus service fees.
“It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Erick Lucero, who was working on the arena floor as a security guard. “The whole show went really well (before Williams’ main set). … It was a packed house, and everyone was really satisfied with the show” up to that point.
The show, which was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., started about an hour late, according to Christopher Douglas, 22, who came to Oakland from American Canyon. Williams came on stage briefly to start the show, tossed a Frisbee to the audience and told a few jokes about the election before introducing the opening acts.
“He was joking like he does in all four DVDs of his that I own,” said Douglas, a magnetic inspector at Pacific.
Steel in Berkeley who was seeing Williams live for the first time. “I thought it was going to be a normal Katt Williams show.”
After the opening performances by fellow comedians and a couple of songs by Oakland rapper Too $hort, Williams took the stage about 10:40 p.m., Douglas said.
The comedian joked about selling out the arena, something he said the Golden State Warriors couldn’t do. An audience member asked about the Wednesday night brawl, and Williams said he had been released because even Oakland police were fans.
About seven or eight minutes after Williams took the stage for his set, Lucero said, he “started acting weird,” taking off his shirt and sweating profusely. Douglas said he quickly transitioned into his familiar closing bit, rattling off his various nicknames before leaving the stage.
“I was like, ‘That’s it?'” Douglas said. “After that, I saw everyone leaving … throngs of people leaving.”
Douglas and his father, who came to the show with him, left as well.
About 15 minutes passed, and between a quarter and half of the audience left, before Williams returned. Once he came back on stage the second time, Lucero said, “there were no more jokes.”
One video shows Williams sitting on a stool, hunched over, delivering a disjointed monologue about spending time in Oakland and discussing God.
In another video, a member of Williams’ entourage walks on stage and speaks to the comedian for a moment. As the man leaves the stage, Williams follows him and appears to strike the back of his head with the microphone.
A profanity-laced video posted to YouTube shows Williams challenging a heckler to come onstage and fight him and telling the person to come backstage after the show. A burly security guard hauls Williams away from the stage‘s edge and to the backstage area.
Lucero said many people leaving the arena accosted him, saying they wanted a refund. Security personnel are instructed to have unhappy ticketholders contact the outlet where they bought their tickets.
Douglas said he “absolutely” felt he deserved a refund. Representatives from promoter Live Nation could not be reached for comment Saturday.
A spokeswoman for the Save Mart Center in Fresno confirmed Saturday afternoon that Williams’ show, scheduled for Saturday night, would continue as planned.
The incident Wednesday night resulted in Williams’ arrest, according to Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson, but the comedian, whose real name is Micah S. Katt Williams, was not booked into jail and has not been charged.
An 18-year-old aspiring rapper, Delvahn Mosely-Davis, sued Williams on Friday, saying the chance encounter near Oakland’s Courtyard Marriott Hotel began with fans greeting the comedy star and ended with Williams bashing him in the head with a bottle.
Williams’ Nov. 1 show in Denver ended with the comedian jumping into the crowd to confront hecklers about a half-hour after he took the stage.
Williams is also facing a $5 million lawsuit filed earlier this month by his personal assistant, who alleges he hit her in October in Los Angeles and caused permanent eye injuries.
In June 2011, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested him on charges of false imprisonment for an incident involving a man on a tractor in Palmdale, according to published reports. Between November 2006 and June 2011, Williams was arrested at least two other times on weapons charges and burglary, and he spent time in jail in those cases, according to published reports.