One of the biggest comedy nights of the year is often New Year’s Eve, and this year, Helium Comedy Club is bringing in Brad Williams for seven shows from Dec. 28-31. The West Coast comic released the specials “Fun Size” in 2015 and “Daddy Issues” in 2016. He’ll be preparing to record a new special in 2018, along with continuing to host his popular podcast, “About Last Night.” We caught up with Williams during a recent phone interview.
Question: Is the New Year’s Eve show a pro or con for a comic?
Answer: I love the New Year’s Eve shows. They’re some of my favorite shows of the year. One of the main reasons is because everyone is there to party and have a good time. It’s not like some instances where it becomes obvious to you performing that somebody got dragged there and has to watch this stupid comedian they never wanted to see. (On New Year’s Eve) in a city like Buffalo where it is cold and people are probably not getting outside as much, they are determined to have a good time, and they’re trusting me with their good time. I’m fine with that, and I hope I don’t let them down.
Q: What influenced your sense of humor growing up?
A: Here’s where I get my humor: Step one, be a dwarf. Step two, wait. After that, it pretty much takes care of itself.
Q: So it becomes a self-defense mechanism to turn back on other people?
A: Absolutely. That’s what my childhood was, and that’s what my dad taught me to do. My dad – not a dwarf, by the way – is a very realistic person, and he knew that I would be made fun of as a kid. So his philosophy was to make fun of me first and to toughen me up, so nobody could say anything my dad hasn’t already told me. I remember going to the principal’s office my very first day of school, because some kid said, “Ha ha, you’re little.” I said, “Ha ha, your mom isn’t living with your dad anymore.”
Q: How did your 2017 go?
A: Well, I didn’t get popped for sexual assault. Everybody else did. It was very strange, the end of the year made everybody go, ‘Oh god, we are horrible people.’ Props to the women who came forward. It’s weird to talk about my personal stuff coming up in my career because of what’s going on in the world in general, and then to say, “Well here’s what I’m doing. It’s important!” It’s not. I have things coming up, but that’s the job of the comedian, because when things happen in the world, we have to comment on it, whether we want to or not. There are some jokes I’m telling now that, I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not really comfortable telling, but I have to because of where we are. I don’t do political jokes, but certain things that are going on in the world I have to comment on. That’s my job as the court jester.
Q: As you said, comedy is just being silly, but it’s also a time for people to take their minds off of whatever is going on in their lives.
A: Yeah, everybody keeps saying that the country is divided. Maybe on a couple of issues, but the vast majority just want a nice home, the health of our family and friends, and we all want to have fun every once in a while. Whatever side of the aisle you’re on, everyone can all look at the stage and all agree, “That midget is funny.”
8 p.m. Dec. 28, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Dec. 29-30, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at Helium Comedy Club (30 Mississippi St.). Cost is $17-$33, New Year’s Eve $35-$59, dinner packages also available. Info: buffalo.heliumcomedy.com