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Marco Island Entertainment – Janet Williams loves Off the Hook Comedy Club’s Marco audiences

Date posted: November 9, 2012

Tennessee Tramp returns to Marco

Set for her 7th gig here, Janet Williams loves Off the Hook Comedy Club’s Marco audiences.

Written by Don Manley

Janet Williams / Alex McMahan Photography/Special to the Sun Times

Janet Williams is a testament to the intrepid spirit that calls us to follow our hearts where career choices are concerned.

And on top of that, she’s darned funny.

With the nom de plume of The Tennessee Tramp, Williams has delivered her unique style of stand-up comedy on stages in the U.S. and abroad for 17 years, including six engagements at the Off the Hook Comedy Club on Marco Island. She plays here Thursday-Sunday.

“I love it,” said Williams said of the Marco Walk Plaza club. “The crowds are great. Who could be any better than Capt. Brien? He treats everybody great. The restaurant is fabulous. His mother and father are great.”

Williams also has kind words for the island and its inhabitants.

“I can’t think of anything better than Marco Island,” said Williams. “If you can come up with something negative about Marco Island, you are an individual that can’t be pleased. The surroundings are gorgeous. The people are super, super nice. The food is great. There’s really nothing negative.”

Williams, 64, is a former criminal justice professor at the University of Tennessee who decided to switch careers at the age of 47.

Although she had always been funny, it was the end of a difficult marriage led her to the stage, said Williams.

“I divorced the spawn of Satan and decided to talk about his family on stage,” said the Chattanooga resident. “Now I don’t even mention them. When enough water has run under a bridge, then you can kind of forget things. I’m no piece of cake to be married to, but I’m telling the story the way I want to.”

The Tennessee Tramp is a character she decided to develop as her career unfolded, said Williams.

“I tell them (audiences) that all of my ex-husbands got together and that’s the only name they came up with that would fly for radio or TV,” Williams said.

Williams won’t divulge how many times she’s been hitched, but she did allow that “Elizabeth Taylor has not had more wedding cake than I have.”

Over the years, she has done numerous USO tours, spent two seasons on BET’s “Comic View” – she was the first white female on the show – and performed at a host of corporate and charitable events.

Williams earned two bachelor degrees, a master’s degree and logged one year of law school, before finding her niche.

“In all honesty, I wish I had started being a comic at 21,” said Williams. “This is my calling. It’s a privilege to perform in front of people and to make them laugh. It’s a privilege.”



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