Try telling comedian Reese Waters he can’t do something and the 29-year-old will probably scoff at your projections. The Forestville, Md., native grew up blasting Martin Lawrence’s raunchy comedy tapes through his headphones in the backseat of his parents’ car. It was here that Waters’ comedic aspirations were born.

But through the birth of his dream, nightmarish scenarios often followed. During his time at New York’s Columbia University, Reese took a shot at standup comedy before a callous “Big Apple” audience. The outcome was far from encouraging.

“I was probably one of the worst comedians that has ever taken a stage,” Waters admitted. “But I still wanted to do it as bad as I was. That’s kind of when I knew that I really had found something because I would go back and continue to put myself through shame and embarrassment and it was shame and embarrassment but I continually did it.”

A breakthrough came during Water’s junior year when he was selected to appear on “Good Morning America” as a part of their “Up All Night” campaign. Since then, Waters has parlayed his early misfortunes into additional guest appearances on “Comics Unleashed,” “Total Request Live,” Sirius Satellite Radio and National Public Radio. He won last year’s annual Caroline’s Comedy Competition and the Emerging Comics Contest at the NY Underground Comedy Festival. But rather than rest, Waters is exploring. He recently became the new host of “The Daily Line,” a sports chat show on new cable network Versus.

“I’ve always been a huge sports fan and I’ve been a comedian for the last 10 years so it’s good to be able to find a marriage between the two things I love most,” Waters said. “The only thing I love more than comedy is probably sports and that’s only because sports was there first.”

As a comic, coming up with new material is always first on the agenda. The duties don’t differ much as a radio show host, so staying ahead of the curve and providing fresh material is something Waters is already accustomed to.

“We’re really trying to capture the sports conversations that happen when you’re watching the game with your boys and at the bar. It’s not so much about statistics and numbers, we’re really trying to strike that balance being bringing some personality to it and some real flavor.”


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO