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Petey Greene : a drug addict, a convicted felon, a hustler and shock jock..

Shortly after leaving prison, he was hired by Dewey Hughes to work as a disc jockey at the AM radio station WOL in 1966 and to host his own show, Rapping With Petey Greene which aired in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. His stature grew, and he soon found himself hosting his own television show, Petey Greene’s Washington, which ran from 1976 to 1982 on WDCA and BET.Petey Greene’s Washington eventually made Greene a two-time Emmy winner. On March 8, 1978, he was invited as a guest to the White Houseby President Jimmy Carter to honor visiting Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito. He famously quipped to the Washington Post that he “stole a spoon” during the evening gala.

Milloy, Courtland (March 9, 1978). “Petey Greene Goes to the White House”. Washington Post, C1.

In the early 1980s, he had radio personality Howard Stern on his show for what was one of his first television appearances. Stern, who had just begun to pioneer the comedy style that would make him a legend on a Washington, DC radio station, showed up in blackface, which was laughed off by Greene; the audio of this interview would eventually be played as part of the 2007 Sirius satellite radio documentary The History of Howard Stern in which Stern called Greene “way ahead of his time.” The two shared a mutual admiration as they both dealt with such controversial subjects as race and sexuality, with Stern since recognizing him as an influence. Stern later called him a “broadcasting genius” in his bookPrivate Parts.

Stern, Howard (1993). Private Parts (1st ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0671880163. OCLC 28968496.

In 2003 Greene’s autobiography entitled Laugh If You Like, Ain’t a Damn Thing Funny was published. The book is a result of conversations recorded between him and author Lurma Rackley.


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