Staying motivated during the last year says a lot about a man, and when it comes to comedian Brian Regan, his actions speak volumes. While we were doom-scrolling in our pajamas, his third special, Brian Regan: On the Rocks, came out on Netflix. While we were proofing our sourdough, he was playing Mugsy on Amazon Prime's Loudermilk. And his five decades of touring — which have made him one of the comedians most respected by other comedians — are testament to his ferocious work ethic.
Brian is still keeping it moving, but this time, he's coming straight to us at the Dr. Phillips Center on June 25. He's proof that in this crazy world, hard work pays off. This Friday, Orlando gets to reap the benefits.
Orlando Weekly: With a ton of clubs closed in the last year, where did you work out your material for your new Netflix special, On the Rocks?
Brian Regan: Well, I would just go out to parks and grab people at random and say, "Hey, do you have an hour?"
No, I actually did shows. I think I went out sooner than most when the pandemic hit. I mean, I shut down like everyone else did, but I knew I had this special slated to shoot in October 2020. So in late July, I started going out to comedy clubs. I haven't really played comedy clubs in years, but theaters weren't open and comedy clubs were with social distancing. So I went and did some places like that.
I did comedy clubs, outdoor venues, and I did a couple of drive-in movie theaters. Which I am trying to forget.
It was fun to watch comics get even more creative with ways to do comedy. Especially with Zoom. That's a hard one for all of us, but I admire the hustle.
Yeah, me too. I didn't go the Zoom route, although a lot of friends did. I was invited to do some of those things, and I support anybody going after anything. But for me, I didn't want to give up on the idea that stand-up comedy should be a comic standing in front of an audience.
I watched one Zoom comedy show and it felt off. Like, they didn't even know if I was laughing or loading the dishwasher. I can't imagine how it felt for a comic.
I've heard from comedians who have done them, and they had to learn how to do it. And sometimes they had the audience in little squares on their computer and they would ask people to unmute their computers so they could hear the laughter.
Unless they had a dog. Please unmute unless you have a pet or you are doing home construction. There sure seem to be a lot of rules with Zoom comedy! Although I did the Tonight Show a couple of months ago by Zoom and I kind of wish I had done a couple of Zooms prior to that so I would have been more prepared. When I watched it back, I thought it looked fine but as I was doing it, it felt kind of weird.
Hopefully that will phase out more and more. And you're doing your part coming to Orlando. Being that you're from Miami, would you consider yourself the Dan Marino of comedy?
Well, when I'm feeling egotistical, I do! [laughs] Dan Marino was obviously a great quarterback. He wasn't ever able to get the Super Bowl done, but that's not a knock against him. I think I'm more of a ... hold on, I'm trying to pick someone more obscure ... I'm the Mercury Morris of comedy.
We're trying to sell your show here! OK, let's try this. What do you think is more entertaining, Walt Disney World as a whole, or your upcoming show in the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center?
I'm not very good at promoting myself. I'm going to say, if you're on the fence about Disney World as a whole or me, go to Disney World.
But they can go to Disney World anytime! You're only going to be there one night!
Maybe you should be my publicist instead of me. You can write an answer where I have one word in bold and the rest is you.
Well, OK: "Go see Brian Regan at the Dr. Phillips Center because his show is better than Disney World as a whole. But only this Friday, June 25."