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Gary Owen's jump shot

While he's in town this week to perform at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, comedian Gary Owen wouldn't mind going to a Miami Heat game.

Unlike some basketball fans from the Buckeye State, Owen likes LeBron James. "I'm from Cincinnati, so as a fan, it had little effect on me," he says of James' 2010 controversial departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Owen's love of basketball is just one of the things he talks about with his buddy, Shaquille O'Neal. "Shaq is a cool dude who is not afraid to laugh at himself," says Owen, a co-host of "Upload With Shaquille O'Neal," debuting 10:30 p.m. Thursday on truTV. "It's a mix between 'In Living Color' and 'America's Funniest Home Videos.' "

Owen's career got a jump start last year, when he starred alongside Kevin Hart in the hit movie "Think Like a Man." Owen and Hart will start filming the sequel in the summer, and just wrapped up production on another comedy, "Ride Along" with Ice Cube.

In 2011, Ebony magazine named Owen "Black America's Favorite White Comic." "I talk about race a lot in my act, because my kids are mixed and my wife is black," he says. "I do have a firsthand experience with interracial marriage and stuff like that. … But I think people like it because I'm telling the truth. It's all based on reality, not stereotypes."

Gary Owen will perform Thursday through Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5700 Seminole Way, in Hollywood. Tickets cost $17-$20. Go to

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