In the days prior to the Dec. 28 finals of the Florida’s Funniest Comedian at the Palm Beach Improv, Applause Break is publishing a special Q&A with each of the 10 finalists. Leading off is Joe Latham.
A native of England, the 41-year-old Latham has been performing as a stand-up comic for four years. This is his first foray into the Florida’s Funniest contest.
Currently residing in Clermont, Latham advanced to the west division semifinals along with Dewayne Williams and Wesley Johnson from the Orlando first round competition. All three Orlando winners advanced to the finals.
But this profile focuses on Latham.
APPLAUSE BREAK Q&A: Meet Joe Latham
APPLAUSE BREAK: Why did you start performing stand-up comedy?
JOE LATHAM: My brother was doing it in England and I got jealous.
AB: Who is your favorite comic and why?
JL: I’m from England so…My favoUrite (english spelling) is hard pick. I really enjoy US comedians Demtri Martin, Mark Normand and Fahim Anwar for the silly way they see the world and their commitment to the craft, as well as daft British comedians like Lee Evans Tim Vine, Lee Mack, Peter Kay and of course my brother Pete Latham! Picking a favorite is like when I my ex phoned me to break up with me… its a tough call.
AB: What do you do when you’re not performing stand-up comedy? What is your job and hobby?
JL: I make training videos for a company (and try and slide in the odd ‘bit’ / pun / one liner or Skit here and there without getting cancelled) – Hobbies include, football (English football), golf, other sports that make me sound cooler than I am, video games, and spending time with the family.
AB: What’s your pre-show routine?
JL: Get stuck on I4 and trying not to get Big Mac Sauce on my outfit for the show… then once at the venue trying to fit in with much cooler comics on the shows with terrible small talk, running out of things to say after about 3 minutes before pretending I forgot something from the car.
AB: What can people expect from your Florida’s Funniest finals set? How is it different from your normal headlining set?
JL: Its exactly the same. My headline set is 60 minutes – my finals set is 6 minutes, so I’ll just be speaking 10x faster.
AB: Where do you see your comedy in five years?
JL: It all rides on Florida’s Funniest! If I win I see big things and a path to headlining in other states over the next few years. If I lose then I’m storming the capitol.
AB: Where did you perform in the first round of Florida’s Funniest? What do you remember from that show?
JL: I remember the wave of laughter and applause break after my first joke… (granted it was 7 mins after my first joke actually at another comedians joke – but it was still technically ‘after’ my first joke). Honestly though – It was an amazing show – the quality of comedians was amazing – and really any of them could have made the top 3. Walking past my wife in the audience as my name was called was an amazing feeling.
AB: What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?
JL: Someone once asked me if anyone had ever told me that I remind them of Will Smith.
AB: Of the other comics in the finals, who are you most looking forward to seeing perform? Why?
JL: Looking forward to seeing all of them, but I love watching Donald Evans put on a show. Really like his short, sharp jokes, but it’s the crowd work, and ad libs in between that I really enjoy. They always surprise me . We’ve started at similar times and have stayed close.
AB: What would winning the Florida’s Funniest Comedian contest mean to you?
JL: In all honestly if I won – it means I made lots of people laugh a lot at West Palm Beach on the 28th of December, and that always means the most to me. Plus a whole load of pressure at any shows that would then bill me as ‘Floridas Funniest Comedian’! Seriously – it would be one of the coolest things to happen to me – ever.
AB: What else should comedy fans know about you?
I was officially the third biggest liar in the world in 2003 (True Story – they hold a competition). You can’t tell by looking at me (but you can by listening to me) I’m originally from England – and hopefully that doesn’t disqualify me from the comp. When I was younger I wanted to be ‘Pacey’ from Dawson’s creek. (and also now I’m older, I still do.)
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Previous Florida’s Funniest Finalist Q&As
- Orlando area comic Joe Latham
- Jacksonville area comic Danny Johnson
- Jacksonville area comic Wes Johnson
- Miami area comic Ricky Cruz
- Kissimmee area comic Donald Evans
- Boynton Beach area comic Nadeem Awad
- Tampa area comic Jay Legend
- Miami area comic Luis Diaz
- Orlando area comic Dewayne Williams
- West Palm Beach area comic John Loveless
- Fort Myers area comic Nathan Wallace