Cardis Cardell Willis
|Cardis Cardell Willis|
Willis on stage before a comeback on a heckler
April 20, 1937|
Forest, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||February 10, 2007
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Genres||Satire, Observational comedy, Black comedy, Improvisational comedy, Character comedy|
|Subject(s)||race relations, American politics, African-American culture, human sexuality, self-deprecation, everyday life, family|
|Influences||Jack Benny, George Burns, Redd Foxx, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, Rodney Dangerfield, and Mort Sahl|
|Influenced||Will Durst, Dobie Maxwell, Richard Halasz, Chris Barnes|
Cardis Cardell Willis, better known as Cardell Willis, and often billed as C. Cardell Willis, was an influential Milwaukee comic. He was locally known mostly in the 1970s, 1980's, and 1990's. He went by the name Cardell socially and professionally, but used his formal name legally.
He eventually developed Alzheimers which robbed him of his ability to tell the storied jokes he was known for. He died on February 10, 2007 in a group home at age 69 after suffering two strokes. He was buried at Graceland Cemetery in Milwaukee.
A tribute show is planned to honor Willis' contributions, and generosity to his peers, and community. The MC will be Dobie Maxwell, who called Willis his Comedy Father. The tribute show is donation supported and the remaining proceeds will be given to the Boy Scouts of America, which Willis was a Scoutmaster in and had received the Silver Beaver Award.
According to onmilwaukee.com, Mayor Barrett designated April 22, 2012, as Cardell Willis Day.