Walter Latham, 46, King of Comedy
Did you know that comedy legends such as, Tyler Perry, Chris Rock, Steve Harvey, Mo’Nique, Cedric “The Entertainer” and the late Bernie Mac all have a connection to Greensboro?
That connection is Walter Latham.
Walter grew up in Brooklyn, but spent his summers with his grandparents in North Carolina. He eventually moved to North Carolina for college and found himself in Greensboro for work at just 18 years of age.
Not long after, Walter went to a rap concert and ran into Mc Lyte, whom he’d grown up with in Brooklyn. After the show, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he belonged on stage. So, he and some friends put on their own rap concert – with a loan from his mom. The concert was successful, but didn’t feel big enough for Walter.
From rap, Walter began thinking about producing comedy after watching Def Comedy Jam. The first comedy show Walter produced was at the Greensboro Coliseum with D.L. Hughley and Bill Bellamy.
“I told myself I wanted to be the best comedy promoter in the country.”
Walter’s first tour was again with Bill Bellamy and Chris Tucker. Soon after, he was working with Chris Rock’s tour. And Cedric “The Entertainer” and Bernie Mac.
“I believed if you get the right combination of people, I can create something big.”
Having this belief, led him to create the Kings of Comedy, starring the late, Bernie Mac, Cedric “The Entertainer, Steve Harvey and D.L. Hughley with performances around the country. Spike Lee turned this into a film in 2000, titled “The Original Kings of Comedy” with footage shot from their on-stage routines.
Walter has now been an entrepreneur for more than 25 years.
“It takes courage and faith in what you’re doing to step out. I speak a lot about trying, so you can succeed. You never know until you try. It’s not as hard to show people that it can work, it’s hard to get people to step out of their comfort zone.”
“For 25 years, I’ve worked for myself and I know that all of the work and effort I put in went to something I own. It holds a lot of value.”
Through all of this, Walter has raised his family in Greensboro.
“Greensboro is a great place for families. Even though I grew up in Brooklyn, Greensboro has become my home. In this new stage of my career, I’m starting to do different things and become more engrained in the community.”