Willie Brown and his wooden sidekick “Woody” aren’t just your average comedian/ventriloquist team. Brown takes a different approach to his 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.
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 and how to deal with the homeless to current events, Willie Brown and Woody bring it home.
Willie was born in New Haven, CT, where his show business interest began with stage magic. 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 T.V. sitcom, Soap. Willie entered Hampton University in 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. where he worked alongside Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes and Chris Thomas, to name a few.
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, and they’ve performed numerous times overseas at U.S. military bases in Korea, Japan, Germany and Bosnia. Willie 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 II Men, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Chaka Khan, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Al Green, The Whispers and more. Willie Brown and Woody can still be seen regularly at the World Famous Comedy Store or the Laugh Factory in Hollywood.
My parents are from the south, but I was born up north in New Haven, Connecticut. I was raised as a city boy with a southern upbringing. We went to Immanuel Baptist Church, where I remember my parents being very involved. When I became twelve years old, my father insisted that I make a decision to give my life to Christ and be baptized. So I did what he said and thus began to have a real personal relationship with Christ.
As a child and a young man I went through my trials and tribulations like any other Christian. I may have not have walked as strong on the Christian path as I would have liked to, but I never forgot who my Lord and Savior was. I rededicated my life to Christ on June 21, 1996. Since then I have had a much stronger walk with Him. This is actually the first time in my life that I have been so involved in God's work. God has truly blessed me with talent and ability. I can actually say that I am living my dreams. I work for myself doing exactly what it is that I want to do. I travel all over the world spreading joy and inspiration to others. What more can I really ask for?
As far as my gift of comedy goes, I did not know that I possessed such a thing until just a few years ago. I thought that because I learned the art of ventriloquism through reading books that it was just something that I picked up. I did not know that it was God-inspired and that I would be able to travel all around the world making people happy. I later realized that being a comedian is a true gift and that making people laugh and being able to spread the gospel at the same time is so very special. Oftentimes I will be performing at a church or Christian function and the spirit will just take over and create jokes and material impromptu. It amazes me how God can use us if we allow Him the opportunity.
I believe that God uses me and my talents to inspire others through the gift of humor. Laughter is a healing medicine that no one should be deprived of.
"Please accept my sincere appreciation for the empowering truths that Willie shared with us during our Community Family Night Comedy Hour. His Godly humor not only made us laugh, but it motivated the youth and encouraged the adults of our church as well. We are delighted to have Willie as our guest. Best wishes to him in every area of his ministry." - Reverend, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church
"I just wanted to say how much Willie's ministry has been a blessing to our church. Many of our members have stayed in touch with his ministry through [social media]. They have been uplifted in so many areas of their lives, and we thank God that He is using Willie in the ministry of comedy. There is a strong cry for him to come back and minister for us." - Pastor, New Beginning Ministry
"We laughed until we cried and our cheekbones locked." - Pastor, Bethel Baptist Church