When New York Magazine tapped Reese Waters as one of the city’s Ten Comedians To Watch in March of 2009, few realized just how quickly his star would rise. First came his victories in the annual Caroline’s Comedy Competition and the Emerging Comics Contest at the New York Underground Comedy Festival. Soon after, appearances on MTV, Good Morning America, Sirius Satellite Radio and NPR were followed by Waters’ mastery of his Comedy Central “Live At Gotham” set and subsequent role on the critically acclaimed Comedy Central series “Michael and Michael Have Issues.”
Programmers took note, and within the next year, Waters was bringing comedy truth to sports as co-host of The Daily Line on the Versus Network, where his sly wit garnered raves for his commentaries on the big sports news of the day, along with his ground breaking interviews with everyone from D Wade and Queen Latifah to NBA MVP Derrick Rose and UFC President Dana White. Nothing, however, prepared the audience, producers and crew for “Tea With Tyson,” his death defying interview over breakfast with the heavyweight champ, where Waters was able to get the often shy Tyson to expound on his love of pigeons and his hatred for cannoli’s. Log onto YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5XFH36UdQ4) for four scary minutes of tv history…
While co-hosting The Daily Line fed Water’s deep knowledge and passion for sports, stand-up is his true love, and soon he accomplished a rare scheduling feat of making back to back appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and the Late Show with David Letterman in the Spring of 2011. Long time watchers of the comedy scene were unanimous in praising Waters for cool, collected and knock out funny premieres on two of the nation’s top late night platforms for stand-up comedy.
Waters hails from Washington, DC, and was introduced to comedy by his grandmother’s hysterical impressions of everyone she’s ever met. His earliest memories include riding in the back of his parents’ car listening to a Martin Lawrence cassette on his Walkman, sure to muffle his laughter, since he was forbidden to hear such vulgarities. However, he took notice of the joy that comedy, and stand-up comedy in particular, brought to his family, and wanted to be part of it. Before officially taking the stage, he amused himself in his high school dormitory by pouring gravy on toilet seats, planting newspaper in the dryer (it works, try it!!) and executing his self-titled “Sour Milk Bomb.” Fights ensued.
Forever the class clown, Waters began performing when he matriculated to Columbia University, where he joined an improv troupe and began traveling around campus entertaining unpopular students. Bolstered by his success, he successfully auditioned for the campus sketch comedy show, which was televised both on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods, thought watched by none. Finally, Waters summoned the courage and enough malt liquor to venture downtown into New York’s legendary comedy scene to try his luck at an open mic. Five months later, now at his 27th open mic, he got his first laugh. However, he remained undeterred during the silence, feeling more and more comfortable onstage and with the audience. It’s this early period that he often looks back on for inspiration.
Throughout his college years, Waters performed anywhere and everywhere he could, including showcases at comedy clubs (one) and impromptu performances in dormitory lounges (many). It was here he met Broadway star Brandon Victor Dixon and super producer Justin Benjamin, with whom he would collaborate throughout his career. After graduation, Waters relocated to San Francisco, a city with a rich comedic history and a woman he’d grown quite fond of. He now felt free to try different techniques onstage, like one-act plays and free improvisation. After two years of experimentation in the Bay Area, he returned to New York rejuvenated and refreshed, as all lease breakers generally do.
Reese Waters now resides with an overweight tabby in Brooklyn, NY where he can be found watching CSI, Cold Case or Intervention during the five hours a week he’s not watching ESPN. He is quite a catch.