Comedian performing in Dwight for first time in 42 years
by Brandon LaChance
Many people thought giving a speech in speech class was a bad assignment or a waste of time. Not Larry Reeb. Before he graduated from Dwight Township High School in 1975, he figured out what he was going to do with the rest of his life. From a speech. “In high school, I had a speech teacher, Mr. Scheidecker, and he let us do a speech on anything we wanted. I decided to do a funny speech,” said Reeb, who was born in Pontiac, grew up in Dwight, and has lived in Chicago for the last 40 years. “I got up there, I got laughs, and he gave me an A-. That was the first time I ever got an A in my life. I then decided to become a comedian. “My dad (Roy Reeb) liked comedians, so I grew up watching Rodney Dangerfield, Jackie Gleason, Red Skelton, and the Ed Sullivan Show. That was it. I knew what I wanted to do.” “My whole goal was to never have a day job. I’ve accomplished that so far. I think I’m funny, I write good lines, and I’m a good performer. I do a lot of visuals and crazy stuff.” Reeb, who became a comedian in 1975 and hasn’t had a day job since 1979, hasn’t performed in Dwight since the town
festival in 1980. After 42 years, the comedian is bringing his talents back home for Harvest Days as he will perform at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23 at Cherry Red Roasters BBQ & Catering. “I had just started comedy and I really wasn’t that good yet. My mom (Marie Reeb) wanted me to perform in Dwight, so I did it,” said Reeb, who recently visited Dwight with his sister, Tarra, and his brother, Jim, for Tarra’s class reunion. “It was outside by the railroad track on Main St. The train came through while I was performing. It looked like the train was going to hit me. Outdoor shows are not really good for comedy. You need a more intimate setting. “Cherry Red’s will be a great atmosphere for this show. There are a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time that will probably show up.
It should be fun and a good show. I’m looking forward to it.” During his 45 year career Reed has performed all over the country, Canada, and has been outside of state and Canadian borders on cruise ships. He works Las Vegas every year and just returned to his Chicago home from a comedy trip in Reno, Nevada. Although Reeb started his career in 1975, it wasn’t until 1989 that he became a known name in the stand-up comedy world. Iconic comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, hosted a four-part HBO Special where he would showcase the young, up and coming talent. Reeb was featured on the third installment. Since then, he’s been everywhere and made people laugh about anything. “In the 1990s I was on VH1, MTV, Comedy Central, Showtime and the Comedy Club Network All-Star Show,” Reeb said. “In 2013, Billy Gardell, from Mike & Molly, did a thing called Billy Gardell Presents Road Dogs, where he put on comedians that had been around for a while and that he liked. “I’ve been a comedian for so long, I have a list of people who have opened for me such as Larry the Cable Guy, Steve Harvey, Ron White, Tim Allen, and Arsenio Hall. They all opened for me.” When Reeb performs at Cherry Red’s on Harvest Day Friday, he’ll only be a couple blocks away from the monument shop his father owned, which is now Grieff’s Precious Monuments. One speech in high school has led to a 45-year career and Reeb’s comedic venture coming full circle as he comes back to Dwight.