A Weekend In Comedy Heaven

Saturday July 7th, 2012 – Rosemont, IL

   Two more scorching shows tonight at the new Zanies Comedy Club in Rosemont, IL, and for a couple of extremely enjoyable evenings this weekend it actually felt like I was in real live honest to goodness show business. This operation is right up there with any of the finest comedy rooms I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen them all over North America. This just might be the best one of all.

Everything about this room is state of the art. The sound and lights were magnificent, and those who showed up for the shows were there to be entertained. I know they got in free this weekend because it was a ‘soft opening’, but I really think this place will explode in a short time. They’ve got an outstanding location, as it’s in a new complex that is building all kinds of new attractions.

There’s an enormous convention center barely a block away, and a row of top of the line hotels are within a few blocks of that. There’s also a brand new casino just down the road, so there’s all kinds of potential business from multiple sources in every direction. What could be a better bet?

On top of that, the place is being managed by competent people who have not only been in the comedy business for years; they’ve been in it in Chicago. That’s a huge factor. This isn’t a chain of restaurants that opened a new location in a new town and hired someone to run it who used to run an Applebee’s in Appleton. They’re way ahead of the game, and that’s why I see it working.

They’ve put together an outstanding staff with Cyndi Nelson in charge as manager. She used to manage Zanies in Pheasant Run and turned the entire vibe around in that location. She is beloved by the comics because she treats us all like stars, but knows how to crack the whip when need be.

Also on staff is Dan Carlson. Not only is he a hilarious comic himself, he used to be the person in charge of an annual event called The Chicago Comedy Festival which was also loved by all of the people who participated. Cyndi and Dan are both extremely good with people and have hands on experience dealing with comics, customers and the business in general. What a potent combo.

Bert Haas has a ton of experience as well. He’s the General Manager and has been with Zanies a lot longer than I have, and I’m part of the old guard. We’ve both been involved in the openings of the Pheasant Run location in St. Charles and the Vernon Hills location which was open twenty years, and even though each location has been successful for a long time – this dwarfs them both.

It was great fun doing the shows this weekend in such a wonderful setting, and part of that was the other acts on the bill. Pat McGann is the new guard and I see a very bright future for him for a very long time. I also worked with Larry Reeb, one of my all time favorites. ‘Uncle Lar’ is one of the greatest club comics in America, and a student of the game like I am. I really respect him.

Bert Haas was smart to book the three of us this weekend, because we’ve all worked locally for years and are Zanies regulars. None of us were green, onstage or off. It was pure pleasure to have a chance to work with an entire crew of competent people I respect greatly and happen to be very fond of personally as well. It’s comedy heaven. Oh, how I wish it could be like this every week.


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