CEO, Parallel Entertainment
J.P. Williams is the founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Parallel Entertainment, one of the entertainment industry’s most prominent management and production companies dedicated to comedy entertainment.
Williams, who was profiled by The New Yorker, as well as featured in a 60 Minutes profile in 2006, develops, finances and produces a variety of comedy entertainments for stage, and screen. He is perhaps best known for creating and producing all of the Blue Collar Comedy entertainment projects involving his clients-partners Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Engvall, including feature films, comedy CD’s, television specials, DVD premiere films, and television seriesseries such as The Bill Engvall Show for TBS, Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy for the History Channel, the hit show Lingo, which was the highest premiering show in the Game Show Network’s history and most recently, Buck Wild for MTV, which begins production this spring.
Born in West Virginia, Williams began his unique career in New York as an agent’s assistant at Spotlite Enterprises, Ltd., a leading talent agency specializing in the representation and booking of comedic talent. He was soon promoted to agent, with clients including soon-to-be comedic giants Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Damon Wayans, Adam Sandler, David Alan Grier, and Jamie Foxx. He was promoted yet again to Vice President of Live Performance a short time later.
In 1991 he founded Parallel Entertainment, a boutique personal management company specializing in comedic performers. Parallel Entertainment has doubled its profits every year since then.
In 2000, Williams and his star clients-- Foxworthy, Engvall, and Larry-- created Blue Collar Comedy Tour, a traveling, arena-sized comedy concert featuring the three comedians, along with comedian Ron White, performing individually and together. The national tour continued for three years and was so successful that Williams subsequently formed Parallel Entertainment Pictures with producer Alan Blomquist to develop, finance and produce Blue Collar-themed filmed entertainments.
The company initially financed and produced Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie, a filmed version of the traveling show, which sold more than 4 million DVD’s following a limited theatrical release. Subsequently, Parallel produced the sequels Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again, which sold more than 3 million DVD’s, and Blue Collar Comedy Tour – One for the Road, which was one of the highest rated programs ever debuted on Comedy Central.
Parallel then entered into television production with the WB comedy series Blue Collar TV, again featuring the three comedians performing their unique brand of heartland humor in sketches and stand-up routines. The series ran for two years. The Company subsequently produced numerous television specials and series, including Foxworthy’s Big Night Out for CMT, The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show for Comedy Central, as well as others for Comedy Central and HBO starring Larry, Engvall, and clients such as Lisa Lampanelli. In addition to the series and specials, Williams also produced the one-hour specials Blue Collar Comedy: The Next Generation, for TBS, and Larry the Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular, for VH1.
Williams has produced three feature theatrical comedies starring Larry the Cable Guy, most recently Witless Protection, starring Larry the Cable Guy, Ivana Milicevic, Yaphet Kotto, Peter Stormare, Eric Roberts, Joe Mantegna and Jenny McCarthy, for release by Lionsgate in February, 2008; prior to that he produced Delta Farce, starring Larry, Engvall, and DJ Qualls; and Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector, both also distributed by Lionsgate.
Williams has produced more than 29 comedy albums, five of which have received Grammy nominations. Jack Records, a co-venture between Parallel and Warner Bros. Records, produces comedy albums featuring some of Parallel’s more than two-dozen clients.
In 2004, Williams was awarded the IEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association) Artist Manager of the Year Award.
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