If you like to laugh-really laugh-then comedian Brian Regan is a “must-see” for you! Regan brings his style of comedy- a very sarcastic and a self-deprecating take on life and every day observations, to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, December 12th at 8 pm. Brian recently spent time with Full Access Magazine to talk about his career, some of his hilarious experiences and his “clean-approach” at sharing his anecdotes with his audiences.
“When I first started, I didn’t have any agenda. I was always mostly “clean” anyway, that’s just how I think comically. I think of everyday things. I didn’t want to be 95% anything, so I made a point to be 100% clean and see if I could get people to laugh without using certain words. I don’t think of it as clean, I just think of it as everyday stuff,” Regan explained. “My show is a little bit of everything. Its life experiences and it’s also just observations about things that really have nothing to do with me sometimes. Sometimes its things I have gone through or read about or whatever…”
Regan, now 58, has been doing comedy since his college days in the early 1980’s. During his career, Brian has performed on the “late-night” circuit and has appeared on countless tv shows. His stand-up act has been featured on HBO and on Comedy Central. In 2007, Regan signed a deal with Comedy Central to star in two one-hour specials, release them on DVD and to headline a theater tour, “Brian Regan in Concert: A Comedy Central Live Event,” which began later that year. He has appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” 8 times. Brian talks about the highest accomplishment, in his mind, that can be achieved by a stand-up comedian, appearing on The Tonight Show and the emergence of social media on the world of comedy.
“When you’re doing Letterman, when I did it, it was as a stand-up comedian. That’s the expectation in the air that you’re going to come out and be funny. I always hoped it would go well and the audience gets “hooked-in.” But its pressure to be funny, I seek it out, it’s a blast. You want to be in position to perform and for it to go well. There’s pressure, but it’s exciting,” Brian said.
“The social media thing for me is weird because the world has changed so much since I first started doing stand-up. When I first started, the idea was to get on tv. “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson was still happening and it was every comedian’s goal to get on The Tonight Show. There really was no other huge goal, that was the thing. And if that happened it was kind of like ‘being knighted’ like ‘now you are a successful comedian,’” Brian added. “Now, there are so many ways to get comedy to the people. People can just make a clip at a local bar that has a comedy night and post it on YouTube. There are so many venues, good and bad. I try to utilize it, but not as much as a lot of other people do. That’s how I feel about twitter. I might post a comment every now and then. If I have shows I might post that, but I don’t want to be one of those guys, ‘hey, remember me! Don’t forget about me! I’m still here!’ It’s like, ‘calm down buddy!’”
Brian originally had the goal of being an accountant as his career choice while enrolled at Heidelberg College in Ohio in the late 70’s and early 80’s. After attending some stand-up shows in his native Florida, Brian eventually dropped out of college during his last semester prior to earning his degree to pursue a career in comedy. Brian recollects this time in his life.
“I dropped out of college with about ten credit hours to go to try this “comedy thing.” Thinking if it didn’t work out, I could always come back and get my degree and do whatever. I was passionate about it and hoped it would work, and fortunately it seemed to work out for me. I think it was 1980 when I started out at a comedy club in Ft. Lauderdale and they had an open-mic night and I auditioned there and auditioned about five times before they ‘passed me.’ I knew I wanted to do comedy, but the only places I knew where there were comedy clubs were in New York and Los Angeles. I thought I was going to have to move to New York,” Brian explained. “Then I saw an ad in the Miami Herald for the grand opening to The Comic Strip Comedy Club in Ft. Lauderdale. It was unbelievable for me. Growing up in Miami, I could drive an hour and audition at this club. Then clubs started opening up all over; maybe in 1981 or 1982 it started exploding. I was fortunate that when I was good enough to start going on the road, clubs were popping up all over the place.”
“I certainly like the hours. When I was in college, a comedian performed in our school and his show started at 8:00 pm at night and I always had trouble waking up for my classes and I remember thinking, ‘wow, I could get up by 8:00 pm, so if I had a job that started by 8:00 pm, maybe I could function in this world.’ Making people laugh feels good and I like when the shows start, “Brian added.
By combining some of his own life experiences with that in which he sees in everyday life, Brian puts a hilarious spin onto just about everything he comes across. One of the most-memorable catch-phrases from his act has been answering back to someone with the response, “you, too” when it definitely doesn’t apply.
“I recently did that again. I was in an airport and the ticket-counter lady gave me my boarding passes and said, ‘have a nice flight.’ I said ‘you, too….oh wow, that was stupid,’ and she said people do it all the time. I told her, ‘no, you really don’t understand...if anybody shouldn’t be making this mistake, it’s me.’ She had no clue what I meant, so I just shook my head and walked away.”
Be sure to check out the always spot-on and hilarious Brian Regan on September 21st at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater at 7:30pm. You can also keep up with Brian on his website, on Facebook and Twitter.