Comedian Brian Regan recently made history by broadcasting a live performance on Comedy Central. The Sept. 26 show titled “Brian Regan: Live from Radio City Music Hall” was the first live broadcast of a stand-up special in Comedy Central’s history. Earlier in the year, Regan also broke the record for most appearances with David Letterman. He made his 28th and final stand-up performance on “Late Show With David Letterman,” the most of any comic since the show moved to CBS in 1993.
Regan’s reaction to his history-making performances this year is typical Brian Regan. Although thankful for his success, he does not take himself very seriously. “I can’t wait for 20 years from now when kids are reading about me in American history class,” Regan said with a chuckle. “They’ll be studying George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and Brian Regan.”
The history-making Brian Regan will be at the Stranahan Theatre on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. In a recent telephone interview, Regan discussed how he creates his comedy, the tour he is on now, and what the future may hold for the 58-year-old comic.
In a recent article, the New York Times called Brian Regan the “Connoisseur of Clean Jokes”, but he does not bill himself as a “clean” comic. Regan said, “I just try to talk about everyday things that interest me.” He added, “Because most people (in the comedy business) work dirty or “blue”, by default, I’m defined as clean. I’m seen as the exception.”
Regan is constantly working on new material. In fact, for the Toledo show, he thinks about 75% of the show will be different from the Radio City Music Hall special. According to Regan, his creative process relies on inspiration and spontaneity. “I find if I sit down to write on a legal pad or at a computer, I get too cutesy or clever, but clever doesn’t equal funny. Sometimes the best writing takes place on stage. It is amazing the power of the heat of the moment.”
Besides Toledo, Regan plans to visit over 50 cities on his tour. The only other Ohio stop will be in Columbus. (For the entire tour schedule, check out Regan’s website.) The comic said he usually performs about half the weekends of any given year, but he admits touring has become much easier for the Florida native. “We schedule shows that are geographically close together. Now, I have a tour bus that will get me from points A to B to C. I try to keep the ratio of work weeks and off weeks in a way that allows me to have a relatively normal life.”
What does the future hold for the history making comic? “I would never give up stand-up comedy because I love this, but I would also love to concurrently do a TV show, but it would have to be in an atmosphere where I can be creative and call the shots. I’d like to do something sketch oriented . . . with as little network interference as possible.”
Until Regan gets his own TV show, people may see him on tour. Tickets are still available for Brian Regan’s show at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the Stranahan Theater. Tickets cost $39.75 and may be purchased online by using the Stranahan website, by calling 419.381.8851, or by visiting the Stranahan Theater Box office at 4645 Heatherdowns BLVD, Toledo, Ohio between the hours of 9-5, Monday through Friday and Saturday 9-1. The box office also opens two hours before any event.