Chicago-born entertainer and comedian Tom Dreesen sat down with Ryan and Val to reminisce on his days with legendary crooner Frank Sinatra and to chat about his upcoming one man performance of "An Evening of Laughter and Memories of Sinatra."
In September 1969, Tom Dreesen went on stage for the first time. According to Tom, "All of my dreams have come true and as the song goes, "The Best Is Yet to Come". A consistent performer in all the main showrooms in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno and Atlantic City, for 13 years Tom toured the nation as the opening act for Frank Sinatra. When not in those venues he's in constant demand from corporations throughout America either as a headliner or working with acts from Bon Jovi to Elton John.
Tom has made over 500 appearances on national television as a standup comedian, including 61 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's also hosted The Late, Late Show that follows Letterman.
He has written and performs a one-man show titled "An Evening of Laughter and Memories of Sinatra", a retrospective of his life as a stand-up comedian, and memories of his touring with Frank Sinatra that opens with him as a young boy shining shoes in a bar while Sinatra is singing on the jukebox, and ends with him many years later as a pallbearer at Frank's funeral.
Growing up in a suburb on the South side of Chicago, Tom has never forgotten his early, less affluent days. He has come a along way from his hometown of Harvey, Illinois where as a lad he shined shoes and sold newspapers on the corner. That suburb has since honored him by naming the street after Tom.
Dreesen gives generously of his time helping struggling comics devoting a great deal of time to charities and benefits. He founded a "Day for Darlene", to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research. The occasion is named for his late sister who was afflicted with the disease. An ex GI, Tom performs on military bases all over the world and recently performed for our troops on bases throughout Iraq. On May 15, 2005 he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award for his humanitarian services to his country.
Tom Dreesen's unique and engaging style is tailored to the specific dynamics of each audience and his sense of continuity keeps the evening flowing smoothly and always on time whether he serves as a comedian, master of ceremonies or motivational speaker. And for more comedic bits and great singing, check out these clips from Richard Marx's official Channel: