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South Side comic Lavar Walker at House of Blues

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Decades before he made a full-time living at busting guts, Lavar Walker was a class clown at St. Dorothy elementary on Chicago's South Side. So as to survive Simeon Career Academy thereafter, the Chatham native dialed down the funny -- the better to stay inconspicuous around certain "killers" he says were his peers.

And while Walker admittedly dabbled in the thug life, he wasn't swallowed by it. Instead, driven to succeed, he hightailed it for Xavier University in New Orleans, where he spent seven years getting his doctorate in pharmacology.

But life as a pharmacist at a CVS in Atlanta (where he now lives) soon grew tiresome, despite the great money and benefits. Fortunately, there was comedy. It's the only thing that truly made him happy. Having begun to do stand-up (poorly, at first) during his final year at Xavier, Walker spent another ten years honing his act, which draws largely from real-life scenarios. A bit about talking on the phone to his father, who strings together so many random thoughts in rapid succession that Walker can't get a word in edgewise, is particularly hilarious.

Want to see this up-and-coming jester -- a favorite not only of superstar comic Kevin Hart but of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal -- live? He'll be at Chicago's House of Blues Friday as part of Hart's "Plastic Cup Boyz" tour.

Walker (center, holding check) with comic Kevin Hart and fellow competitors at the 2012 Miller Lite Comedy Competition in Las Vegas
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And check out the Sun-Times entertainment section for a Walker profile.

Warning: The following videos contain strong language and may not be suitable for all viewers

(Walker's bit starts at 2:38)

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Thomas published on March 6, 2013 10:26 AM.

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