Greensboro’s ‘King of Comedy’

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s like a story out of Hollywood – with the emphasis on, “out of.”

Walter Latham moved from Brooklyn, New York, with dreams of a basketball career, starting at East Carolina University. When that didn’t work out as planned, he found himself in Greensboro, where family told him there was opportunity. And when people say, “Funny how that works out …” they really mean funny. Walter wanted to produce funny shows, so he’d call the agents of young comedians he thought were talented.

“I would say, ‘Hey, I want to book a comedy show in Greensboro, I want to book a comedy show in Columbia, South Carolina, who do you have?’” says Walter, of those early days in the first half of the 1990s. “Or, ‘I watched this guy the other night, I saw him on TV, real funny, who represents him?’ And then I would book him and they were making $500 a night, $1,000 a night, I was making $250, and we just did it, together. And we did it together for years.”

Together with the likes of those other – at the time – unknown talents that are now household names: DL Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey and the late Bernie Mac.

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