Stand-up comedian Brian Regan
is performing at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center
this Saturday night. In the world of professional stand-up comedy, there are few artists respected by their peers as much as Brian Regan. Marc Maron, host of the popular WTF podcast
and star of the IFC show Maron
, is unabashedly complimentary to Regan, calling him one of his favorite comics. He recently spoke with Orlando Weekly
about his tour and his perspective on stand-up as an art form.
“You know, on Sirius XM, they have an ’80s music channel, they have a ’90s music channel, they have a ’70s music channel. I wonder what it would be like if they did that with comedy, if they subdivided it into years,” ponders Regan. A 30-year veteran of stand-up, Regan has carved out a niche that few newer comics actively pursue: clean comedy. Reminiscent of classic comedians like Steve Martin or Bill Cosby, Regan doesn’t use blue material, instead getting full belly laughs from the audience based on observations about everyday experiences.
When asked if he considers himself a traditionalist when it comes to comedy, however, Regan demurs. “I hate to ever really define what I do. Comedy, even more so than music, is very difficult to try to define into words. You almost have to hear it to know what you want to do with it in terms of filing it in your head or whatever. So I wouldn’t call myself that, just because it can sound self-serving, you know, to call oneself a traditionalist.”
Regan’s work ethic is certainly old-school. He seemingly tours non-stop, visiting different regions around the country for a string of dates every other weekend. “It’s sort of like the Gilligan’s Island
tour. I went out for a three-hour tour and never returned.” He prefers to visit every city on his circuit about every two years, bringing a mixture of new and old material each time he visits. “I try to turn the material around,” he says. “It’s a process, to go from having one hour of stuff to another hour of stuff. I guess it can take a couple of years to do that. If someone saw me two years ago, or the last time I was in Orlando, they might see some stuff they saw a previous time. I’m not going to promise a brand new slate of stuff, but I would like to think that the majority of stuff they see would be new.”
Widely considered a master at his craft, Regan is very down-to-earth regarding the accolades heaped upon him. “I know that I do a style that I’m comfortable with.
I like to approach it the way I approach it. I like to talk about everyday things. Some people can look at that and go ‘Well, that’s an old way of doing comedy.’ It’s like, well, okay. I don’t know what else to do. That’s what I do: I open my eyes, I look around, I see things and I try to make fun of them.”
Brian Regan performs at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster