In 2016, comedian William Lee Martin was coming off his biggest year ever! His bleeped-out first one-hour television special “Let the Laughter Roll” had just aired on CMT which had over a million viewers. He became one of Carnival Cruise Lines top rated and most requested acts performing in front of 100,000 people live that year alone. Plus, he launched the wildly successful Kings of Cowtown Comedy Tour, teaming up with Internet sensation and stand-up comedy newcomer, Chad Prather. But despite it all, Martin was not satisfied with the direction his own headlining career had taken.
“My TV special, stage, club, theater and at the adults’ only shows on Carnival, I was working pretty dirty. Maybe not Kat Williams dirty but dirty enough.” Martin said in a recent interview. “And really, from a business aspect there was no reason to change. My tour schedule was full. My TV special was a huge success. And yet, I still felt empty.”
Martin, who is a married and a father of five, said deep down he knew despite the risk to his recent success, he wanted to change. “I wanted to create a show where people could bring their parents to, a show that would be great date night, a show that reflected more of who I am in real life. The world has become such an ugly place; I just decided one day last year that I was going to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.” Martin added. "For me, a cleaner show works best."
His new solo tour “Living in the Middle” is a being booked in theaters across the country. Plans are to do 25 American cities plus overseas dates on Carnival and military bases. Martin, who is also known by his nickname, Cowboy Bill, has also toured over his 21 years in comedy with country music legends George Strait, George Jones and all 4 members of the Blue Collar Comedy tour.
Martin pours his heart out each night with a 90-minute personal, original, relatable material on family, love, and the frailty of life. True to his gentlemanly Texan roots, he delivers it with a sense of genuine charm and wit reminiscent of a modern-day Andy Griffith. With a gut busting, rapid laughs-perminute story telling style that rivals even the most recognized household names in comedy, the show steers clear of political, raunchy or explicit subjects. All ages are welcome but kids probably won’t get all the jokes. It’s an adult show minus the adult language.
Martin also writes, acts and producing a very successful web-episode segment called the "Living in the Middle Report" where he tackles current events and the issues facing most middle Americans today.