Willie Brown & Woody Bio
You don’t know how funny Willie Brown and Woody are until you see them live. They’re not just your average comedian/ventriloquist team. Brown takes a different approach to the age old craft by making it fresh, new, and hip for today’s more savvy comedy audiences. It’s not just about seeing him not moving his lips, and hearing Woody speak. “It’s about the jokes”, says Brown. After watching this act for a few moments you forget that Willie is there and it seems as if Woody transcends into a standup comedian on his own. Willie does the set up and Woody gives the punch! Willie Brown is a nationally known ventriloquist who has appeared several times on BET Comic View, HBO DEF Comedy Jam, Loco Comedy Jam, Phaturdays, The Jenny Jones Show, and most recently in a recurring role on the Showtime Network series “Barbershop”. From topics such as the family, church, how to deal with the homeless, to current events, Willie Brown and Woody bring it home.
Brown was born in New Haven, Connecticut where his show business interest began with magic. He later became interested in the art of ventriloquism and thus combined it with standup comedy. His early motivation was to fool his friends. “If I could fool my friends then it was on”, says Brown. He was inspired by legendary ventriloquist Willie Tyler and Lester from the Motown Revue along with Jay Johnson who played the team of Chuck and Bob on the hit tv sitcom “Soap”. Brown credits Tyler as being a mentor and a friend. “He use to talk to me for hours in the back of the World Famous Comedy Store giving me history about the great comedians who passed through the doors, and some of the big music acts that he would tour with like Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and The Supremes, and the Temptations. I loved it. I would just sit there and take it all in”, says Brown.
Brown entered college at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia where he would major in Mass Media Arts and perform at fraternity/sorority functions and on military bases. After graduating he relocated to the Washington, D.C. area where he really honed his skills by working at local comedy clubs like The Comedy Connection of Greenbelt, Garvin’s, The Comedy Café, and The Improv. He would work along side of Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes, and Chris Thomas to name a few. Willie hosted a local tv show called “The Comedy Jam” which was a follow up to “The Soul of Comedy”. The show aired on Channel 32, WHMM-TV, Howard University. It was an urban standup comedy show featuring some of Washington D.C.’s finest up and coming comedians. Bill Pratt was the producer of the show. The show was a hit and actually came out before BET Comic View or HBO Def Comedy Jam. Not only did Pratt produce this show, moreover, he was also the Field Producer of the new BET Comic View show featuring D.L. Hughley as the host. Pratt assisted Willie in getting on the first season of BET Comic View and the rest is history.
Willie Brown and Woody now perform largely at churches, theaters, colleges, comedy clubs, and corporate events. Brown and his sidekick have headlined many comedy clubs throughout the country and abroad. They’ve performed numerous times overseas at U.S. military bases in Korea, Japan, Germany, and Bosnia. They have also performed in England, Amsterdam, South Africa, and the Caribbean. Brown has toured with Cedric The Entertainer, and worked with Steve Harvey, Jamie Foxx, and Mike Epps. He’s opened for a number of well known music artists including Boys To Men, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Chaka Khan, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Al Green, The Whispers and more. Willie Brown and Woody can be seen regularly at the World Famous Comedy Store, or the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, California.
The big screen is no unfamiliar territory for Brown. He’s an avid actor and has appeared in the movie “Tears of a Clown” starring Don D.C. Curry, and in “All About You”, a romantic comedy starring Lisa Raye, Debbie Allen, and Rockmond Dunbar, “The Let Out Guys”, which is a comedy short, and his own film “Footcops”, which he wrote and produced. Brown has also made an impact on the commercial world booking national spots for Kellogg’s Eggo Waffle Syrup, American Airlines, McDonald’s, Skittles, and others. In his hard to find spare moments Willie spends his time writing and developing screenplays. He recently released a new comedy CD titled “Willie Brown and Woody on the Up and Up” (in stores soon). Willie Brown is also a corporate humorist who gives speeches nationally.