Zanies comedy club reborn in Rosemont

By Danealle Khaimskiy
Updated 7/5/2012 6:55 AM
  • Executive Vice President Bert Haas stands in front of the new Zanies in Rosemont, which opens July 6.

      Executive Vice President Bert Haas stands in front of the new Zanies in Rosemont, which opens July 6. Joel Bissell | Staff Photographer

On July 6, Rosemont's growing entertainment district will add a new comedy club with an old name to its lineup of restaurants and bars.

Zanies Comedy Club will open its doors in Rosemont with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:45 p.m., followed by free admission to shows on Friday and Saturday.

Unlike the other locations, according to Executive Vice President Bert Haas, this Zanies was built from the ground up with the art of comedy always in mind.

"We tried to make it as perfect for stand-up as possible," Haas said. "The furthest seat from the stage is 35 feet; there are no bad seats in the club."

According to Haas, Zanies' main focus was always the comedy, which is why the sound system is state of the art, the club is dimly lit, and the capacity is 250 people.

Founded in November 1978 by Rick Uchwat, Zanies has sold laughs for more than 30 years. Zanies got its first applause in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. Since then, the company has opened locations in St. Charles, Nashville, Tenn., and Rosemont.

Although Zanies might have updated its appearance and equipment, one thing hasn't changed: the comedians. On opening night Zanies will feature performances from Larry Reeb, Dobie Maxwell, Pat McGann and Jeanie Doogan, who were chosen because they "epitomize Chicago Comedy," Haas said.

Reeb, otherwise known as "Uncle Lar'," was made famous by his inappropriate advice and catch phrase: "That's another tip from your Uncle Lar'." As a 2008 Chicago Comedian of the Year, Reeb was always welcome at Zanies.

In addition to free admission Friday and Saturday, the club will hold "Rosemont appreciation days" July 11 and 12. On those dates, Rosemont residents can check out the new club for free by showing proof of residency.

"Please just make a reservation, so we don't have to turn people away at the door (if seats fill up)," Haas said.

Admission regularly is $20.

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