by Bryan Holland
Brian Regan is the type of comic that mends the feeling of youth and childhood innocence with the absurdity of adulthood and experience. His brand of clean humor is a breath of fresh air in a world numbed by the need to be lewd and obscene. There is a big reason he sells out every show and is held in such high esteem by his peers. It’s been said he’s your favorite comedians favorite comedian. It’s because his personality and wordplay are functioning on a level of high accessibility while still being clever, honest observations. You’re at a restaurant and receive your meal. The waitress says “Enjoy your meal” and you, like a robot, reply “You too!” The absurdity of life in a nutshell. That’s Brian Regan.
Brian was born in Miami, Florida in 1957, which is impressive considering how physical his comedy is. His arms flail around and he moves all over the stage, the nimblest 59-year-old I’ve seen in the comedy scene live. He began comedy back in 1980 after being persuaded by his college football coach to try theatre and after many ups and downs, he’s now one of the most well-known.
Brian recently performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York on September 26th and it was broadcast live on Comedy Central, the first live broadcast of a stand-up special ever done by the network. This goes to show how he is regarded in the comedy scene.
It the midst of a multiple month tour across the United States, I was lucky enough to catch his stop in Westbury, NY at the NYCB Theatre. Noticeably sold out and loud with anticipation, the 360 degree view layout of the theatre gives a different look to a comedian. It tests them in a sense where they have to engage people sitting in every direction of their perspective. Surrounded, if you will. He rose to the occasion and jumped all around the circular stage, delivering laughs left and right with his observational brand of comedy.
Any momentary pauses or silences were filled with people in the crowd yelling favorite past jokes of his. One thing that is truly amazing about Brian is that he seems to have a completely new show any time he tours. He never needs to delve back into his old bag of tricks. He’s got new ones ready to roll. Whether he talked about how hilarious and monotonous professional sports figures interviews can be (every game being a must win) or pondered on how the duties were divvied up while building the Panama Canal (someone has to take care of the malaria!), he always speaks from the heart with an honest, if silly, way of looking at every day occurrences.
A comedian that will definitely go down in history as one of the best, I felt very privileged to be watching a master of his craft in action. His appeal spans all age groups and some of his first comedy specials are still being spread to the younger generation, especially endearing because of their timeless quality. Family friendly humor that was funny when it came out and has staying power still now and on into the future.
Regan’s tour is still tearing through the United States, you can find tour dates here.