Jacob Williams
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Jacob Williams

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
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Dec
21
Jacob Williams @ Morty's Comedy Joint

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Dec
20
Jacob Williams @ Morty's Comedy Joint

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Dec
19
Jacob Williams @ Morty's Comedy Joint

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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The best kept secret in music

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Many of you will perhaps remember the first incarnation of the very funny and very successful "Nick Cannon Presents: Wild N' Out" some years back on MTV. Now, the show has been reborn on the network's sister station MTV2 and its premiere episode garnered the highest ratings ever for a show on that network. Jacob Williams has landed a regular slot on the program. You may remember seeing Jacob on last year's season of "America's Got Talent" where he was well received and pushed on to the Vegas semi-final round before elimination. Despite not being a finalist, it got him noticed which led him to MTV2. Jacob is a regularly touring campus comic now and it's no surprise this would be a comfortable home for him. As a matter of fact he began his comedy career on campus. "I started doing comedy in college," he says, "so that's why I am really excited about performing in the college market. In the beginning I was terrified of talking to people in general, so I thought 'What better way to get over that fear than to talk to tons of people at once; and not only talk, but to try to make them laugh?' I was fascinated by the idea of comedy, that this was a career someone could actually have, because I always loved watching stand-up. When I got to college, one of my friends tried it and that gave me the motivation to do it too. He was just a normal guy, if he was giving it a shot, I should too. I was hooked immediately." Jacob's first "big break" didn't come until a couple of years later, but he says there were a few steps while he was still in college that were very encouraging. "One of them was winning a couple stand-up contests, and by winning one, I actually got the opportunity to open for Pauley Shore for his Showtime special in Las Vegas. At the time that was very surreal; I was just a college kid and was flown to Las Vegas to open for this famous name. I ended up winning another contest, which gave me the opportunity to open for Nick Cannon too." This was the first time he and Nick Cannon crossed paths (check out our cover story on Nick in the Nov 2010 issue at www.campusactmag. com) but it wouldn't be the last. "That really helped motivate me pretty early on. Then of course 'America's Got Talent' was my biggest break up to that point. Now, with 'Wild N' Out' I feel like I have made another real step, because it's the first project I have become a regularly feature player on; that is just an amazing feeling and has been great to be a part of. It's not just a 90 second slot here and there like on 'AGT,' it really feels like I am a part of a legitimate cast of a major show. It's great to know I can't get voted off this one (laughs)." Jacob credits patience and perseverance much more than simply raw talent for his current successes. "I feel like it is one of those things where you have to start with noting, but if you just keep doing it, all the little successes add up to be greater than the individual parts. You start of with 'How do I even write a joke?' to trying to write a better joke to writing five minutes, then 30, then being able to do a full hour. Hopefully good things happen along the way, and in my case they have." Jacob focused on practice, practice, practice. "I was (and am) always getting on stage as much as I possibly can. Eventually I got some pretty good videos of me performing which really opened some doors to bigger opportunities." Coming full circle back to the campus market, Jacob says he learned the most right here at home. "I would say I picked up most of what I needed by just going to comedy shows on my own campus, I would go up on stage whenever I could, but I was the only comedian on campus (laughs), so I would have to wait until the program board booked a comedy show to try and get up and do an opening set for the featured performers. We had Tommy Johnagin and Pete Holmes and a lot of other really good people that were great about giving me a chance to get up on stage for a few minutes to practice my craft. I would always ask them advice and they were very accommodating but the number one thing they told me was that I needed to move to somewhere that I could get as much stage time as possible." Jacob realized that his small campus in Wisconsin wasn't going to be the place his comedy career would take off, so he made the move to the nearest major market, and a true hub of comedy. "I moved to Chicago before I finished school, but still graduated from Beloit College in WI. I spent some of that time taking classes in Chicago, spending as much time on stage as possible and learning a ton about improv." It's an interesting combination of skills that he has, because as a general rule of thumb you see many comics who are either good at writing their material and doing stand-up, or you s - Campus Activities Magazine


On Monday night, NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ featured final auditions from around the country as hopefuls gave their all for chance to advance to the Las Vegas rounds of the contest. Judges Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern were treated to tap dancers, comedians, singers and a performing pig.
Here’s a rundown of some of Monday’s highlights:
– The first act of the evening, Smooch Piggy, did bring smiles to the judges’ faces. The porky entertainer and her trainer went through a series of tricks that included Smooch rolling a ball, climbing some steps and honking a horn. Sadly, Smooch didn’t bring home the bacon and therefore, did not advance.
– A 6-year-old tap dancer named Liliana promised to “buy more headbands” if she won the $1 million top prize. Going under her performance name of Lil Star, she lit up the stage with her energetic dance moves. Sharon said Lil was “unstoppable,” but Howard didn’t think she would be a worthy of the big prize. Howie agreed with Sharon, and voted to send Lil Star on to the next round.
– Stand-up comedian Jacob Williams admitted being extremely nervous before hitting the stage. Beginning slowly and gaining confidence, Jacob told plenty of self-depreciating jokes which earned him a standing ovation. The 23-year-old advanced.
– A dance troupe from Puerto Rico called 787 Crew described how they spent $3,700 of their own money to travel to the ‘America’s Got Talent’ audition. They displayed a dynamic, energetic style that gained the all-male troupe a pass to Las Vegas.
– A young woman named Trish showed off her ability to speed rap, an act she said she invented just to meet her celebrity crush, Howard Stern. The Barbie-girl failed to impress with her incomprehensible lyrics, but she did get a hug from her favorite judge.
– Mary Joyner is the daughter of athlete Al Joyner and the late Olympian Florence “Flo-Jo” Griffith-Joyner. The 21-year-old sang “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles and received a huge round of applause from the audience. Howie remarked, “I think we just fell in love with you.” Sharon called the singer “a genuine performer.” She advanced.
Other acts earning a trip to Las Vegas included a rock band called The Always, an impressionist, an octogenarian tap dancer and an acrobatic dance troupe called Midnight Circus.
The first live rounds of NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ will air Monday June 25 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.
- ABC News


On Monday night, NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ featured final auditions from around the country as hopefuls gave their all for chance to advance to the Las Vegas rounds of the contest. Judges Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern were treated to tap dancers, comedians, singers and a performing pig.
Here’s a rundown of some of Monday’s highlights:
– The first act of the evening, Smooch Piggy, did bring smiles to the judges’ faces. The porky entertainer and her trainer went through a series of tricks that included Smooch rolling a ball, climbing some steps and honking a horn. Sadly, Smooch didn’t bring home the bacon and therefore, did not advance.
– A 6-year-old tap dancer named Liliana promised to “buy more headbands” if she won the $1 million top prize. Going under her performance name of Lil Star, she lit up the stage with her energetic dance moves. Sharon said Lil was “unstoppable,” but Howard didn’t think she would be a worthy of the big prize. Howie agreed with Sharon, and voted to send Lil Star on to the next round.
– Stand-up comedian Jacob Williams admitted being extremely nervous before hitting the stage. Beginning slowly and gaining confidence, Jacob told plenty of self-depreciating jokes which earned him a standing ovation. The 23-year-old advanced.
– A dance troupe from Puerto Rico called 787 Crew described how they spent $3,700 of their own money to travel to the ‘America’s Got Talent’ audition. They displayed a dynamic, energetic style that gained the all-male troupe a pass to Las Vegas.
– A young woman named Trish showed off her ability to speed rap, an act she said she invented just to meet her celebrity crush, Howard Stern. The Barbie-girl failed to impress with her incomprehensible lyrics, but she did get a hug from her favorite judge.
– Mary Joyner is the daughter of athlete Al Joyner and the late Olympian Florence “Flo-Jo” Griffith-Joyner. The 21-year-old sang “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles and received a huge round of applause from the audience. Howie remarked, “I think we just fell in love with you.” Sharon called the singer “a genuine performer.” She advanced.
Other acts earning a trip to Las Vegas included a rock band called The Always, an impressionist, an octogenarian tap dancer and an acrobatic dance troupe called Midnight Circus.
The first live rounds of NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ will air Monday June 25 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.
- ABC News


In a phone conversation with Jacob Williams, he told us about his improv education, getting to meet some of his favorite musicians on the show and how he performed comedy with Nick Cannon while still in college. - XXL Magazine


After what feels like several months of auditions (in reality it's been just over one), on Monday night we finally reached the last night of the audition process for America's Got Talent. Whereas all of the previous episodes focused on a particular city at which the audition was being held, the final audition episode before the competition heads to Las Vegas was more or less leftovers – the producers clearly piecemealed together bits and pieces from the various cities to form one final tryout episode. So what did the "final" auditions offer?

The Good (a.k.a. "The Real Business")

Jacob Williams, standup comedian: Williams was a shock to our system. Unlike more craftily-edited shows, AGT hasn’t served up many shocker-type moments this season – you know, where the contestant appears to be awful but turns out to be spectacular. But this shy, monotone comedian from Chicago, who plays off his awkwardness in a stellar comedy routine, was a true show-stopper. His best joke: a killer riff about Twitter ("I just carry a megaphone and announce what I'm doing at random times"). But above all, the guy who claimed he was deathly afraid of performing in front of large groups had the judges doubled over in laughter. We need more from this painfully awkward yet amazingly hilarious talent.

The Always, band: This four-piece band didn't get a significant amount of screen time, but what we did see was impressive. Led by a singer capable of unleashing Adam Lambert-ish high notes with enough vibrato to shake a building, these riff-rockers thoroughly impressed during their (brief) performance of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." Perhaps our excitement is centralized around the fact that we know so little about them? Never mind that – these dudes have the chops and are headed to Vegas.

The Eh (a.k.a "Not So Much")

Liliana, tap dancer: Yes, this six-year-old from Chino, California was absurdly adorable. We’ll admit, she was also quite the impressive dancer, especially for her age. But as Howard Stern pointed out, this was no million-dollar act. Our apathy towards Liliana's performance was admittedly tempered by the fact that she said she'd "buy more headbands" if she took home the prize. Sadly, we expect this little girl with a bright future to see her AGT dreams fade away in Sin City. It's just not her time.

Mary Joyner, singer: Given the coveted final performance slot of the episode, our hopes were high for the daughter of legendary track-and-field athletes Florence and Al Joyner. While it was undoubtedly touching to hear Mary reminisce about her late mother, the incomparable Flo-Jo, the singer’s performance of Sara Bareilles' "Gravity" was just, well, OK. We knew Joyner was going to be put through, if only for her famous parents. Therein lies the crux of our problem; her talent didn’t dictate her results.

The Bad (a.k.a. "The Bizarro Bunch")

Trish Paytas, rapper: It was bad enough that this scantily-clad woman, who is a computer programmer by trade but more clearly resembles a past-her-prime Vegas showgirl, showcased a sorry excuse for rapping by spitting out words at a mile-a-minute pace with no discernible cadence. But things got even worse: Paytas admitted that she only came on the show to meet Stern. "I know I'm not talented," she told the judges. Well, at least she’s self-aware.

Anonymous female, rapper/dancer: This twentysomething, whose name we never learned, claimed she was in the rap and dance game to empower young women. But her raps told a different story. A sample of her rhymes: "You're not very funny but I want your money." She also told the judges she fully endorsed a woman using her body to take a man's money. Talk about empowering!

We Hardly Knew Ya

Thea and Smooch Pig, "animal trick" act: When a woman named Thea brought her pet pig onstage to open the episode our eyes lit up. Maybe it’s just because we’re a sucker for cute, roly-poly pigs. But Smooch didn't do, well, anything – the pig basically just laid down and bit a squeaky toy. That doesn’t mean we didn’t want more. Osbourne did as well, but alas, it was not to be. Smooch was eliminated and our dreams of a pig headed to the bright lights of Vegas died right there on the AGT stage.

Next week: Over 100 contestants head to Las Vegas and attempt to make it to the live show. Frankly, we’re just happy the auditions are over. - Rolling Stone


Jacob Williams recently made his TV debut on the current season of NBC's America's Got Talent and received a standing ovation from the crowd and all three judges: Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel. He performed on four episodes of the show, advancing to the Semifinals. - MTV


Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern all gave the 23-year-old a yes to move forward in the competition, and Mandel added, "You're amazing. People are going to remember you. You have a career ahead of you." - E! News


Blue Devil Productions is proud to present comedian Jacob Williams on Tuesday, March 6th, at 8 pm in the Terrace at the University of Wisconsin – Stout.

Jacob Williams is a talented man that has worked with some of the biggest names in comedy, such as Andy Dick and Tom Green. Additionally, Jacob beat out many other strong contenders and won the opportunity to open for Nick Cannon in Las Vegas! Jacob is known for his dry, cutting wit comedy and imaginative twists! Join us for a night of laughter. - University of Wisconsin - Stout


This Friday at midnight, Talk Hard, Chicago’s hit late-night, uncensored talk show is proud to welcome Jacob Williams. Jacob is a Chicago-based comedian taking the stand-up comedy scene by storm as a new cast member on MTV’s returning series, Wild ‘N Out. He was also a recent semifinalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Jacob’s dry wit and powerful imagination have won him awards including first place prizes in Pauly Shore’s Vegas is My Oyster competition and Chicago Improv’s Fantourage Comedy Contest. - Talk Hard


Earlier this week, Williams’11 talked to the Terrarium about stage fright, motivation, and what it feels like to return to the place where he got his start. - Beloit College




Comedian Jacob Williams lives in Chicago where he's been studying the art of improv and honing his stand-up comedy act. All that schooling seems to have paid off because he recently made his TV debut on the NBC's "America's Got Talent," and last year won a chance to perform as part of the BOB&TOM Comedy Show Tour. Follow Jacob on twitter and facebook. - Bob and Tom Show


You might remember Beloiter Jacob Williams'11 from his comedy performances on campus; now you can see him on network TV as he takes his routine to NBC's "America's Got Talent" Monday (June 18) at 7 p.m. - Beloit College


Louisville native Jacob Williams still has talent, and you can tune in tonight to catch him in action.

The 23-year-old comedian has advanced to the semifinals on "America's Got Talent." You can see him on the small screen trying to crack up the judges of the NBC show, which airs at 8 p.m.

Williams, a graduate of St. Francis High School who calls Chicago home these days, is the son of Jim and Claire Williams of Louisville. - Courier-Journal


Jacob Williams, at just 22 years old, is one of the fastest-rising comics on the local scene. The Louisville native and current Beloit College student is a finalist in The Improv’s Comedy Derby, was voted best local comic by LEO readers in 2010, and recently won a spot on the Showtime comedy special “Pauly Shore’s Vegas Is My Oyster,” where he performed alongside some of today’s comedy heavyweights. Williams will perform this weekend at the Comedy Caravan with Brad Tasell.

LEO: Tell me about the “Pauly Shore’s Vegas Is My Oyster” contest.
Jacob Williams: I saw the ad on Facebook. He was asking people to submit stand-up comedy clips. I had one ready, so I thought, “All right, I guess I’ll do it.” I wasn’t expecting anything to happen, but then they called me.

LEO: What was the actual prize?
JW: They flew me and my friend out to Vegas for two nights; they picked us up at the airport with a limo, which I didn’t expect; we got to stay in The Palms resort and perform on the Showtime special with Pauly Shore, Andy Dick and Tom Green. And the woman that ended Sandra Bullock’s marriage was on the show. I think it airs in the spring.

LEO: That’s a strange group of people. How crazy did things get?
JW: That’s a good question … I’m trying to figure out what I can or can’t talk about.

LEO: Don’t worry, we’ll run anything …
JW: That’s what I’m worried about. It was kind of surreal — we were hanging out in this exclusive Playboy nightclub, sitting V.I.P. next to Pauly Shore and tons of women who were trying to get his attention. And there was one part of the show where Bobby Lee started crawling through the audience naked. And the band Semi Precious Weapons played a set — they had almost completely naked women all over their stage.

LEO: With Andy Dick there, things had to have gone down.
JW: You know, he has a reputation for being all in your face and stuff — I feel like that’s probably an act. You can’t have a successful career in show business if literally every time you met a new person you were groping them or something.

LEO: The one time I saw Andy Dick, he pulled his penis out on stage, told the audience to go fuck themselves, and walked off after 10 minutes.
JW: Oh, wow.

LEO: How have some of the other local comics responded to all of this?
JW: Everyone has been so nice, incredibly supportive. I’m always afraid when I get something that I’m going to be alienating some of my peers. But I was surprised how many people were so nice and genuinely excited for me. Because I think, generally, comics tend to be bitter, and I know how it feels to be jealous of someone when something good happens. But everyone I’ve talked to has been really nice about it and very supportive. That’s the nice thing about the Louisville scene.

LEO: How do you finish off school while being on the road so much?
JW: Yeah … I don’t know what’s going to happen there. I have a couple of showcases coming up at prominent clubs, where I’ll have to delay some of them or negotiate with my school. So it will be interesting.
- LEO Magazine


http://www.whas11.com/great-day-live/video/Americas-Got-Talent-comedian-Jacob-Williams-202322541.html - ABC-Louisville


Still a baby-faced 22-year-old, Jacob Williams seems too young for the Sodom and Gomorrah excess of Las Vegas, but that's precisely where the Louisville-raised comedian has landed.

And it's not just any run-of-the-mill decadence, either. Think Pauly Shore, Carrot Top, Andy Dick and a side of porn stars and Playboy models.

That's just a portion of the lineup for “Vegas Is My Oyster,” an all-star revue hosted by Shore over the weekend at the Palms Resort in Sin City. Williams landed a spot in that lineup after winning a video contest seeking a talented young comedian to showcase in the revue, which was taped for broadcast at a later date.

After graduating from St. Francis High School, Williams headed for Beloit College, a small liberal arts school in southern Wisconsin. There he began doing stand-up at open mics on campus, which led him to try his act at comedy clubs around the Midwest, including Comedy Caravan and The Improv in Louisville.

We touched base with him last week via e-mail before he departed for Las Vegas.



How did you get into comedy? Was it as tough a racket to get into as they say it is? Were you the funny kid in high school?

I was not extremely social in high school, so I don't think most people would have said I was funny unless they were close friends of mine. Growing up, I tried a lot of different outlets for creative energy, including fiction-writing, stop-animation and live movie-making, and acting/writing/directing in great student showcases at St. Francis. I was pretty shy growing up, but I always enjoyed these types of activities. When I entered college, I was obsessed with stand-up, so I started doing open mics on campus. I have performed in as many venues as I could find since then. I am about to start my last semester at Beloit, but spent the last year taking off-campus classes and living in Chicago, which was a really great place to get a lot of stage time and try a lot of different forms of comedy and improv.

Do you consider Kentucky to be a “funny” place? Does it help or hurt an aspiring comic to be from here?

I think that there are a lot of very talented people in the city and it definitely is a great place to perform stand-up, which I always enjoy doing here while I am in town. The Louisville comedy community is very supportive and helpful in a way that is not always the case in more competitive scenes.

What is your style of comedy? Who are your major influences?

The first comedian who made me want to try comedy was Demetri Martin. I saw him on Conan O'Brien's late-night show, and he was so funny yet very low energy. I do not have the skillset of over-selling jokes or being high-energy on stage, and so it was an important realization for me that you could have a quieter presence and still be able to make people laugh in a live setting. My favorite comedian right now is Mike Birbiglia, who has an incredible live show that has the audience laughing the entire time but also contains enough emotional weight and storytelling prowess to bring people to tears. Other comedians I like include Louis C.K. and Steven Wright.

How did the Pauly Shore contest work?

I saw it advertised on Facebook. I already happened to have an edited video clip that was the right length, so I submitted it on a whim. A few days later, I got an e-mail that said I made it into the top five, and then early (last) week they informed me that Pauly Shore had chosen my video as the overall winner, which meant that I would be flown out to Vegas to perform a five-minute stand-up set during “Vegas Is My Oyster.”

I just Googled “Vegas Is My Oyster,” and there's a pretty impressive lineup of talent there. Are you intimidated?

I don't feel too intimidated — yet — because I'm trying not to think of this as different than any other show, and just prepare as I normally would by writing and getting on stage as much as possible in the time leading up to it.… Once I am actually in Vegas though, I guess I will have to see if I can still stay relaxed enough to enjoy the moment and not overanalyze anything about the situation.

Is it difficult to whittle your act down to five minutes? Are you stressed about picking the right stuff, or do you feel like you already have it?

I am used to doing short sets for showcases, as well as longer sets if I am the featured comedian. So I think it should be pretty easy to decide which jokes are strongest and focus on using those ones for the set in Vegas. I am lucky in that most of my jokes are short-form to begin with, and so I should be able to fit a lot of material into the five-minute slot.

Are you worried about meeting Andy Dick? He gives a lot of people the heebie-jeebies.

I feel that I have been fortunate enough to meet a large array of eccentric people in show business in the last few years, including someone who drank their own urine on stage and another comic who performed a stand-up set - Velocity Newspaper and Metromix


After winning a comedy contest and being flown to Las Vegas to perform on Pauly Shore’s “Vegas is My Oyster” comedy special, stand-up comedian and Louisville native Jacob Williams sat down to talk with The Voice about his experience.

How did you get in to comedy?
There were a lot of factors, but I think one thing that helped was seeing someone else my age try comedy during my freshman year of college. I was already a huge fan of stand-up, but it was not until I watched someone in the starting-from-scratch stages that I could think – “Oh, maybe this isn’t as impossible as I thought.” I would still get nervous before shows, in the first couple years, and sometimes now, but it definitely helped to dive in regardless of any stage anxieties.

How did you learn about the contest?
I had put together a very short video for, another contest for the Chicago Improv, but then I randomly saw an ad for the Pauly Shore contest while I was on Facebook asking for the same type of video, so I entered that on a whim and actually ended up winning them both. When I edited the clip, I was thinking it might be nice to try and win the contest for a guest spot at the Chicago Improv, but I could never have expected two weeks ago that I would suddenly be flown to Vegas for a show with Pauly Shore, Andy Dick, Tom Green and many others. The whole trip was really surreal and one of the absolute best experiences career-wise and fun-wise of my entire life.

How did you find out you won?
I got an e-mail about a week before I went to Las Vegas that, the judges had chosen me, to be, in the final five and that Pauly Shore had picked my clip as the winner out of those.

What was your initial reaction when you found out you won?
My initial reaction was excitement, mixed with a very heavy dose of skepticism. I am pretty insecure about certain areas of my life, including and perhaps especially comedy, so it was a huge shock to me that I would have been given such an amazing opportunity out of the blue. I think I had enough disappointing experiences before this that I had a healthy dose of groundedness going in.

How was your experience in Las Vegas?
It was one of the most fun experiences of my life. My friend and I both got flown out for the weekend, with a free two-night stay at the Palms, where the theater for the Showtime special that Pauly was filming was. Exploring the city was like being in a gigantic theme park for adults. I also enjoyed performing at the Louie Anderson Theater the night before the show with Pauly Shore. The Louie Anderson Theater was a great place to practice because it felt very intimate compared to the crowd of 2,000 people for the Sunday night show, but, it really helped, relieve some of my nerves about whether my jokes would work in Las Vegas or not.

What were you most nervous about?
My aunt and uncle flew out from Milwaukee to see the show, so I was a little nervous about that, but luckily I don’t have any dirty jokes. The whole trip was filled with experiences of things that I was expecting to be nervous about, but honestly I felt pretty relaxed for most of the time. The crowd at the concert theater was definitely the biggest I have performed at before, but the audience seemed so supportive – there wasn’t any type of disadvantage to me.

Who did you meet?
Some of the people I met were Pauly Shore, Andy Dick, Tom Green, Bobby Lee (from “Mad TV”) as well as Charlyne Yi, Maz Jobrani, Faizon Love, and April Macie – all very successful and funny comedians that I enjoyed watching on stage. There were also a ton of very friendly behind the scenes agents, managers, assistants.

Is this a dream come true for you?
This was certainly a very big moment for me in terms of what I have been working for with my stand-up and entertainment business goals, but if anything I would like to use this experience to motivate me to work even harder because I think that is going to be very important.

So what’s next for Jacob Williams?
My goal this year is to keep writing and performing as much as possible and in as many types of venues and cities as possible and hopefully get more paying work from clubs and colleges around the country. I am in the final round of a comedy competition at the Louisville Improv on Wednesday, Feb. 16, which will feature the winners of other rounds of a contest. If any readers are interested in coming to this show to support me they can mention my name at the door or contact me through my website www.JacobWilliamsComedy.com. I have a mailing list that has funny updates every once in a while about things that are happening in my life.
- Voice Tribune


On its final night of auditions before heading to Las Vegas to cull contestants in the next round, "America's Got Talent" gave us a hodgepodge of leftovers from the various stops it made this season — from Tampa Bay to Austin, Texas; New York to Los Angeles, St. Louis to San Francisco.

The result was a strange mix mostly made up of the weird and the wacky, with a few legitimate talents tossed in to hold our interest, capped off by a startling appearance by the offspring of two Olympic track-and-field luminaries.

Let's just start with that last one: Mary Joyner, a 21-year-old singer from Los Angeles, just happens to be the daughter of Florence Griffith-Joyner (a.k.a. Flo-Jo), the U.S. Olympic runner who set two world records in 1988 that still hold today and then tragically died in 1998 at age 38, when Mary was only 7. Mary's father is no slouch either: He's Al Joyner, who won gold in the triple jump at the 1984 Olympics.

When the singer revealed her glittery athletic legacy, Howie Mandel asked her, "So will you be doing track and field for us this evening?" No, she said, she'd charted her own path as a singer. And she sang compellingly enough for Howard Stern to comment: "I've sat at home and watched this show every season. Some people give me goose bumps and some don't. You had me in 30 seconds. I thought you did a tremendous job."

Mandel insisted that Mary bring out her father, Al, who was weeping in the wings (as some of us were at home), to hear the good news that his daughter was headed to Vegas. Al jumped up and down when he heard the news. In this case, he seemed to be going more for height than for distance. His daughter, however, may go far.



Other talents included:

Lil Starr: A 6-year-old dancer who performed tap at auditions but said she knew many other types of dance, and made the world's best faces as she energetically hoofed it. "You're really, really good. You know that?" Mandel asked her, prompting an adorable affirmative response. Sharon Osbourne said she was "on fire" and "unstoppable," though Stern was less impressed, giving her a "gentle no." He was outvoted by Mandel and Osbourne, however. And by the way, if Lil Starr wins the million-dollar prize, she's spending it on "more headbands."



787 Crew: This colorfully mohawked, all-male dance crew from Puerto Rico set out to show America that it has a shot at the win. "I love the outfits. I love the showmanship. I love the attitude," Mandel said, adding that it was both "dangerous" and "exciting." "I saw stunts or tricks or moves that I had never seen before," he said. Stern and Osbourne loved it too. But the best moment was when Mandel assured them that, though they had scrounged to pay their airfare for auditions, the show would pick up the tab for Vegas. Very sensitively handled, Howie.



Jacob Williams: My favorite act of the night, this 23-year-old comedian showed all the signs of disaster before going on, but his cracklin' dry jokes and deadpan humor gave me a few good chuckles. In fact, I'm still laughing at his Twitter/megaphone joke. "You're amazing, and people are going to remember you.... You have a career ahead of you, young man. It's very exciting," Mandel enthused. Stern called him "spectacular." Yeses all around.



I'll spare you the video of the indolent swine named "Smooch Piggy," pictured above. (It was an animal act only Osbourne could love.) But the buxom woman named Trish who got onstage with some trumped-up rap routine only because she wanted to meet Stern – and ended up slow dancing with him? Feast your eyes …

- Los Angeles Times


The best way to describe Jacob Williams?

Picture Bill Gates doing stand-up.

“Just so you guys know, I don’t know how to fix your computers, I just look like I do,” Williams, 23, deadpanned at his “America’s Got Talent” audition earlier this year.

Acknowledging and denying his gawkiness on stage is a strategy that has so far worked for the rising comedian from Chicago.

Williams is one of 24 acts from across the country vying for a spot in the finals of NBC’s hit talent show. His Tuesday night performance will bring him one step closer to the $1-million grand prize.

“I’m very excited and I’m very terrified,” Williams said. “It’s live from now on so anything can happen.

“I’m hoping for the best.”

Williams’ unassumingly funny demeanor caught the show’s celebrity judges by surprise. Family and friends still cannot believe he’s on stage.

“This just blew all our minds,” said his grandmother Bernadine Williams. She thought her introverted grandson, who grew up in Louisville and went to college in Beloit, would take up writing as a career.

Seeing him perform in front of thousands of people, she said, “I can’t believe it’s Jacob.”

Sophia Cowan, an elementary school friend, said Williams was a quiet and shy kid with a quirky sense of humor.

She recalled once, after she inquired about his injured hand, he ad libbed an elaborate story about an alien abduction.

Comedy is a good fit for Williams, she said.

“He had a pretty incredible talent and ran with it,” Cowan said. “On stage, that’s his element.”

Williams’ parents, who are sometimes the butt of his innocuous one-liners, said their son always had a creative streak.

As a kid he drew joke books, loved magic, and began planning Halloween costumes and decorations in May. In grade school and high school he won awards for original stories and self-made movies.

“Even though he was quiet there was always a lot going on in his mind,” said mother Claire Williams.

Self-effacing yet over-the-top jokes about childhood on “America’s Got Talent” created instant likability with the audience, including the one about making his dad “disappear emotionally” when he took up magic as a kid.

In reality, Jim Williams is one proud father.

“He says he has the best job in the world,” he said. “As a parent that makes us really happy that he’s following his dreams. We’re all behind him and supporting him.”

To prepare for the contest’s semi-finals Jacob Williams left a job in real to estate to do as much stand up as possible.

He arrived a week early in Newark, from where “America’s Got Talent” is broadcast, to solicit gigs in New York City.

Over the summer he split his time performing between Chicago and Las Vegas, and in one week had 17 shows under his belt.

“Every night I’m finding somewhere to perform,” he said.

Stage time is critical for a budding comedian, said Bert Haas of Zanies Comedy Club, who was the first to book Williams when broke into the city’s comedy scene a few years ago.

“Stand up comedy isn’t one of those things you can write in your room for five years and spring on world,” he said. “You have to constantly test it out.”

Haas said Williams’ “skewed point of view” gives him an original voice.

Delivering jokes inconsistent with his appearance results in an amusing fallout and “what makes for a good comedian,” Haas said. - Chicago Sun-Times


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

BIO

Jacob Williams is most famous for his performances on the hit television shows MTV's WILD 'N OUT and NBC's AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, where he won over the celebrity judges and millions of fans who voted him into the Semifinals. Howie Mandel described Jacob as "The Best Act of the Night!

The winner of many stand-up contests, Jacob has also performed on comedy special shows for SHOWTIME. He has been featured on the BOB AND TOM SHOW, E! NEWS, ABC NEWS, ROLLING STONE, THE NEW YORK POST, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, THE CHICAGO SUN-TIMES and SIRIUS XM RADIO.

Based in Chicago, Jacob studied improv at the legendary Second City. He began doing stand-up as a freshman in college and so his jokes are popular with college crowds. Jacob is currently on tour at colleges and theaters across America.

APPEARANCES

MTV Wild 'N Out - Series Regular
NBC America's Got Talent - Semifinalist / Judges Favorite
SHOWTIME Pauly Shore's Vegas is My Oyster - Warm-up
SHOWTIME Nick Cannon's Mr. Showbiz - Warm-up
Bob and Tom All-Stars Tour - Performer
Bob and Tom Show - Guest
Great Day Live! - Guest

AWARDS

America's Got Talent, 2012 Season - Semifinalist, Top 16
Bob and Tom All-Stars Comedy Contest - 1st Place Winner
Pauly Shore's Vegas is My Oyster Contest - 1st Place Winner
Open for Nick Cannon Contest - 1st Place Winner
Chicago Improv's Fantourage Comedy Contest - 1st Place Winner
The Moth Storyslam - 1st Place Winner
Edge Comedy Club Contest - 1st Place Winner
Rockit Comedy Contest - 1st Place Winner
Rock 'N' Bowl Comedy Contest - 1st Place Winner

QUOTES

"Best act of the night!" - Howie Mandel, AMERICA'S GOT TALENT

"Spectacular!" - Howard Stern, AMERICA'S GOT TALENT

"I loved your material!" - Sharon Osbourne, AMERICA'S GOT TALENT

"Amazingly hilarious talent"
-- Dan Hyman, ROLLING STONE

"Jacob is a talented comedian who is very easy to work with! It was a pleasure having him at DePaul!"                   
- Carrie Emge, DEPAUL UNIVERSITY