As a kid, Brian Regan stayed up watching comedians on late night TV, laughing along with them. Little did he know that someday he would be the one on late-night TV. In fact, this month he makes his 25th appearance on the “Late Show With David Letterman.”
Although Regan grew up watching comics, he originally intended to get a degree in accounting —- until he felt the rush of making others laugh.
“I had to do a speech in speech class,” he remembered. “I wanted to make it more humorous so I did not bore myself. It was the first time I’d done something like this and I really got the class laughing. After, I left the room feeling pretty good.”
That was in the ’80s, just as comedy was hitting an all-time peak. Comedy clubs were opening all over the country and comics were being offered TV shows. Suddenly, comedy was not just for late night anymore.
Over the years, Regan has watched as comedy has shifted and changed.
“Years ago, comedy was very one-line orientated,” he explained. “Then it evolved into storytelling. Now the new thing is being silly and acerbic without being grounded in reality.”
Regan’s comedy is very much grounded in reality. One of his most popular bits is speaking about why there need to be instructions on a box of Pop-Tarts. Another bit has to do with the complexity of preparing boxes for UPS. Acerbic, observational comedy is his onstage signature.
“My bits are a longer form,” he said. “I feel like a goofball 23 hours a day. During the other hour, I get onstage and speak about it.”
Regan is also known for being a “clean” comic. Not only does he use PG language, he doesn’t put down others or get angry.
“Years ago I was 95 percent clean and decided to try for 100 percent,” he said. “This is all stuff that is organic to me. It’s just a different way to approach it. I like to laugh and poke fun at things, not tear people down. “
His writing process rarely involves paper and pencil. He waits for inspiration from real life, then writes it down. As he hones the bit, he records his shows until he nails it perfectly, and he constantly adds new material.
“I try to turn material over,” he said. “If people see me, then come back a year later, it’s a different show. If they see new stuff, then I’ve hooked them for life. And the new material is not just for the fans, it’s also for me.”
In addition to several CDs, numerous TV appearances and sold-out shows, he tours regularly, visiting 80 cities a year. It’s a career he enjoys far more than if he had stuck to his original game plan of accounting.
“Laughing is a great way to spend an evening,” he said. “It’s fun to be onstage and be a part of that.”
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Submited at Monday, August 20th, 2012 at 11:45 pm on tv show by hilman
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