Justin Williams: NYC barbecue is a disgrace
Native North Carolinians know how great it can be here.
We appreciate the beauty of the mountains and the beaches, the hipness, and hippiness, of Asheville, the diversity of Raleigh and the bigness of Charlotte. We know the coolest places to visit in the Piedmont Triad and embrace how awesome and strangely intimidating the term Piedmont Triad is.
Outsiders don’t always get it and our laid back charm isn’t everybody’s cup of (sweet) tea, but some visitors become immediate fans of the Old North State and they would probably say they’re better off for having set foot on N.C. soil.
I have a feeling Justin Williams falls into the latter category. Williams, a Kansas City, Mo., native who made the move to New York City, is a veteran at the Cape Fear Comedy Festival, which is where I first saw him perform earlier this month. As was the case with many of the comics I saw at the CFCF, I became an instant fan.
TC: Did you enjoy your time in Wilmington and do you think you’ll be making any return trips?
JW: This was my third year in a row doing The Cape Fear Comedy Festival. I love Wilmington! I’m going to be back for sure. My plan is to die eating at The Basics.
TC: Do you remember how many times I drunkenly asked you for an interview on the last night of the Cape Fear Comedy Festival? I vaguely recall borderline harassing you, Larry Fulford and probably a few others. Sorry about that.
JW: Oh, no worries, man! I did plenty of drunk harassing myself. I was escorted out of a few nice bars downtown and one private residence. Go hard or go home.
TC: Have you found any barbecue in New York City that compares to what you grew up with in Kansas City, a place known for its barbecue excellence?
JW: New York BBQ is a disgrace. It’s not even in the same universe as the the 10th best place back home. Why do you think I come to North Carolina so much? New York can do pizza and all kinds of weird international fusion, but they don’t have the patience to do BBQ correctly. I want my short ends smoked for five years!
TC: Were there any tough rooms in Paris and, if so, is a tough room in Paris any different from a tough room in New York or any other U.S. city?
JW: My friend Sebastian Marx runs a great show called “The New York Comedy Night in Paris.” The audiences are great out there, maybe because I threw America under the bus immediately. That George W. Bush was bad, am I right?
TC: Your DVD is titled “Black and Comfortably Middle-Class” but in the promotional photo, you’re wearing a shirt and jacket combination that would make Prince himself proud. That does not look very middle class to me, Justin. Please explain.
JW: Ha! It’s kind of the same logic as the old Parliament Funkadelic album covers. I just wanted put a black guy in a situation people aren’t used to seeing, so in this case, it was Thomas Jefferson’s clothes. Black women, however, know Thomas Jefferson quite well.
Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes:
“It’s always darkest before the dawn” – dummy unfamiliar with Earth’s rotation who’s never seen the sun gradually rise the same way it sets.
— Jesse Joyce (@jessejoyce) May 21, 2013