Past Event

A Comedy in Black and White

Tom Dreesen and Tim Reid met for the first time in tumultuous 1968 Chicago. While the country was wracked by the civil rights movement, a sexual revolution, and a controversial war, these friends took the stage as the first—and so far, only—black and white comedy team. Together they spent five years touring the country, facing unabashed racism, occasionally violent hecklers, and cheering crowds.

Reid went on to star in the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati and create the influential Frank’s Place, and Dreesen spent 30 years in stand-up, including 15 years as Frank Sinatra’s opening act.

The duo returns to the stage to tell their stories and reflect on a lifetime of unique experiences.

About the participants

  • Tom Dreesen has made over 500 appearances on national television as a stand-up comedian, including sixty-one appearances on the Tonight Show. He’s a frequent and favorite guest of David Letterman and even hosted the show during David’s absence. He has also hosted the Late, Late Show that follows Letterman. A consistent performer in all the main showrooms in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno, and Atlantic City, for thirteen years Dreesen toured the nation as the opening act for Frank Sinatra.
  • Tim Reid is an Emmy-nominated actor, director, and producer. He starred as “Venus Flytrap” on WKRP in Cincinnati and has had many starring roles over the years in The Richard Pryor Show, Simon & Simon, Frank’s Place, Snoops, Save Our Streets, Sister, Sister, and That 70’s Show. The co-founder of United Image Entertainment, founder and president of New Millennium Studios, and Obsidian Home Entertainment, Reid has been producing for both television and the big screen since 1990.

Nearby street parking is available. Campus parking lots are free for visitors on weekends.

This event is part of the Chicago Humanities Festival’s (CHF) annual fall festival. For more information, please visit the CHF’s website.