New Year’s Eve might look different this year, but there are still safe and fun ways to usher in 2021. Zanies Comedy Club will be livestreaming its New Year’s Eve event on YouTube from its Rosemont stage, with comedian Calvin Evans as host.
Reset talks to the Chicago native to learn more about the event and to get his recommendations on what to read, watch and do this week.
What to read
1. Homey Don’t Play That!: The Story of In Living Color and the Black Comedy Revolution by David Peisner - “Growing up watching a predominantly Black sketch show on network television, it was so different to me. So I wanted to see the in’s and out’s of how that worked and how that came to be.”
2. Michael Jordan: The Life by Roland Lazenby - “It really gets into how hard Michael Jordan’s life was being this mega superstar… for me, it was like reading an inside baseball book.”
3. Maybe You Never Cry Again by Bernie Mac and Pablo F. Fenjves - “This particular book inspired me because Bernie Mac, also a Chicago comedian, he got a late start in comedy. And at the time, I was in my twenties and I felt like I was behind the ball in terms of doing comedy. So I read this book and it made me feel like it was possible.”
What to watch
4. The Black Godfather (Netflix) - “‘The Black Godfather’ is about Clarence Avant. He started off as a music producer but he had his hand in everything in the entertainment industry. And he helped so many acts out to become successful.”
5. Unprotected Sets (EPIX) - “This was probably the best thing I could’ve hoped for in the middle of a pandemic. Because not only did I get on stage and perform stand-up comedy, but this show was also shot in a documentary style. So I got to talk about my life and my family and how I started doing comedy.”
6. The Boys (Amazon Prime Video) - “It’s a different take on superheroes. A lot of times superheroes are good people and they go out and save the day … but in this show, it’s the dark side of being a superhero.”
What to do
7. Work out - “I started cycling over the summer and it’s done wonders for my health.”
8. Talk to people on the phone - “Just pick up the phone and talk to somebody. It helps pass the time and it’s just good to hear people’s voices sometimes that you haven’t heard in a long time.”
9. Watch comedy - “I feel like people need to laugh. I feel like comedy brings people together. It’s the through line that cuts through anything that separates us.”
GUEST: Calvin Evans, Chicago comedian