“You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.”
– Oscar Pistorius
At the age of 11 months old, both of his legs were amputated from the knees down. Born with a condition called fibular hemimelia, an absence of the fibula, Oscar Pistorius was brought into this world with many challenges lying ahead of him. (1) However he never let his disabilities deter him from activities that seemed near impossible for an individual with his predicament. Pistorius was given his first pair of prosthetic limbs at the age of two and never looked back. (13) In junior high, Pistorius played rugby, water polo, tennis, and wrestling. (2) However in June of 2003, he acquired a serious knee injury from rugby that kept him from playing those sports. While enduring rehabilitation for his knee, Oscar Pistorius discovered the sport that was truly destined for him, running. (4)
At the age of 18, Oscar Pistorius practiced running nearly every chance he was given. In 2007, he participated in his first international competition for able-bodied athletes, and after the race he was disqualified under claims that he had “an unfair advantage.” (2) Due to this controversy, Pistorius was required to undergo a series of scientific tests, which ultimately affirmed that his prosthetic limbs use 25% less energy and 30% less lifting of the body than those able-bodied runners. In the eyes of scientific terms, this indeed does prove that Pistorius carries an advantage over able-bodied runners. However Pistorius did not let this affirmation hold him back and he continued on fighting for his dream in participating in the 2008 Olympics. (5)
“Poor little tink tink” says Katt Williams, as he tells the story of Oscar Pistorius being disqualified from a race he had already participated in. He dubs Pistorius the nickname “tink tink” undoubtedly due to the abnormal noise he makes as he runs, and he uses the hilarious sound of this pseudonym to his advantage throughout his skit. Katt Williams is dressed in a black button up shirt, a sparkling over-sized white tie, neon colored tennis shoes, and pants that are twice his size adorned with an enormous belt-buckle. With his hilariously sarcastic, high-pitched voice and his noticeably small 5’5” frame, he continues to say “these hating ass motherf*****s at the Olympic committee let this motherf***** race, and then waited till he won, and then disqualified him and said, and I quote, he had “an unfair advantage”” He then looks at the audience with the most perplexed look on his face, pauses, and proceeds to say, “are you talking about the motherf**** with no god**** legs? Is that who the f*** you talking ‘bout?” The audience bursts into irrepressible laughter. (6) It is the irony of the situation that makes his joke so comical, a man with no legs being deemed as having an unfair advantage. Most people in life would view his circumstance as just the opposite. Williams describes “poor little tink tink’s” racing legs as “bent back paper clips… like two baby boomerangs.” The audience is almost silent after this comment is made, unsure of whether to laugh or not, Katt Williams then chimes in with “Don’t try to act like something wrong with me, some of you motherf*****s saw the story you know what the f*** I’m talking about, it look like bent back paper clips!” (6) and once again, like all of his jokes, laughter takes over the arena in Washington, DC.
Katt Williams, born as Micah S. Katt Williams, was brought up in a well-educated and disciplined household. (7) His first experience with stand-up comedy came by a complete accident; he noticed the club he wanted to get into was not checking ID’s for the entrance the comedians were using, so he entered through that door. Once inside he was asked to do a five-minute improv and had to suddenly think on his feet. Afterwards Williams said, “I was so nervous but everyone laughed and thought I was funny. After that, I was opened up to the wonderful world of comedy.” (8) As Williams further explored this world of comedy, he and his son would travel to various places to perform for what small amounts of money they could earn. After much hard work and dedication, he landed a spot on The Improv, The Comedy Store and The Icehouse, which helped him become well known on the BET Network. (8) In his documentary/stand-up film Pimpadelic, Williams talks about how he believes comedians should improve themselves, “Okay, out of that joke you got 4 laughs, alright the next step is to get 6 laughs.” (9) This philosophy has excelled Katt Williams in the comedic world and has helped him surpass many of those in the same field.
Being the self-spoken man of God that he is, Katt Williams draws many of his jokes from inspirational stories, “Poor Little Tink Tink” being one of them. All though most of his jokes are flooded with vulgar entities and racial slurs, the underlying meanings of most of his jokes are inspiring. Williams takes several situations that are far from ideal and turns them into hilarious skits. For example, he has one joke about adults who put their children on leashes, for most this is an uncomfortable topic, but Katt Williams gives it a hilarious twist by pretending to be a German Shepard on the floor in relation to the child. In the same documentary, Pimpadelic, he talks about role models and how he values what they do. “A lot of people are your mentors, I go to the special Olympics and cry my eyes out and walk away inspired by it… to see a dude with one leg train all through the year to race, and come in last place, and be happy as f*** like he won the world championship… [It’s] those types of things, that’s what matters to me… people that don’t f****** quit.“ (9) In the same sense, Williams also loves to be the laughing matter of his jokes. He finds it naturally easy to give anecdotes about individuals with disabilities, because at the same time he is making more jokes of himself. In several of his skits he uses his small frame as the center of his puns. In one joke he is talking about his son’s love affair with cereal and slips in the joke that he’s “too f*****g short to reach it” he continues on about how absurd it is that he can’t reach the top shelf in his own kitchen. When telling the jokes about Oscar Pistorius, undoubtedly Williams feels as if he can relate because of his unusually small size.
Katt Williams also feels he can relate to those like Oscar Pistorius in many other ways also. Williams was handed several road bumps on the path to his true calling; his path to a career in comedy was not easy, he earned his fan-base and successful career by his determination and persistence, just like Oscar Pistorius did. Without mentors like Pistorius in William’s life, he would not have had the courage he needed to continue pursuing his God-given talent after the many setbacks he faced.
Katt Williams story of “Poor Little Tink TInk” ultimately has a happy ending. After the
Olympic Committee stated he could not participate, Oscar Pistorius took his determination to another level and appealed their ruling. After a two-day hearing, the Court of Arbitration for Sport revoked the committee’s decision with immediate effect. Oscar Pistorius went on to claim 3 Gold medals in the 2008 Olympics, (10) and 2 Gold medals and 1 Silver in this past years’ 2012 London Olympics. (11)
(2) Jeré Longman (15 May 2007), “An amputee sprinter: Is he disabled or too-abled?”, The New York Times: A1 & A21. 24 October 2012.
(3) Gareth A. Davies [interviewer] (23 May 2007), “My sport: Oscar Pistorius”, The Daily Telegraph (London) 24 Ocotber 2012.
(4) Mike Moon (2012), “Blade Runner: Oscar Pistorius is forcing the world to rethink what it means to be disabled”, Readers’ Digest Asia, archived from the original 24 October, 2012.
(5) “Report: Artificial limbs give paralympic champion competitive edge”, International Herald Tribune, 20 December 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
(6) Miller, Troy. (2008) Katt Williams: It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’. Washington, D.C., United States. 24 October 2012.
(7) Internet movie database. In (2012). Amazon. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1139343/ 24 October 2012.
(8) Katwilliams.com. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.kattwilliams.com/biography/ 24 October 2012.
(9) Katt Williams. (2009) Katt Williams: Pimpadelic. United States.
24 October 2012.
(10) Records: As of Sep 17 2008, Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, 17 September 2008, retrieved 17 September 2008
(12) “Comedian Katt Williams arrested for alleged attack on Californian tractor driver”. New York Post. June 13, 2011.
(13) Chowdhury, S. (2 Se). Bbc sport paralympics. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/disability-sport/19460868