Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Brian Regan heads back to town

Fresh off the heels of his most recent (and historic) special Live at Radio City Music Hall, veteran comedian, Brian Regan reclaims the stage of The Stranahan.

    It’s been two years since I interviewed Brian Regan when he last rolled through Toledo. I look back at our conversation as a major “Holy shit, I’m talking to a legend” starstruck moment in my life, that resulted in the an article, “Brian Regan: The C+ of Comedy,”

After I brought our storied past to his attention Regan chuckled, “My assistant looked up the last article… I didn’t read it. So, if we hit some of the same topics I hope nobody out there is just going slam the paper down, [saying] ‘this is very similar to the article from two years ago!”

I giggled along with him and held back the tears.

Clean cut comedian?

As a comedian Brian Regan is an anomaly. In the splintered age of niche entertainment— in which the Netflix playlist of a Monty Python fan and that of Richard Pryor’s may never cross paths— Regan's humor seems to be a recommendation algorithm buster. Simply put, Brian Regan is on a very short list of comics whose jokes are a one-size-fits-all brand of funny. Grandparents, parents, children, and even snobby comedy fanboys (such as myself) can crack up during the same show.

  As of late, Regan has been on a “media Blitzkrieg” to promote his last special, Comedy Central’s first ever live broadcast stand-up broadcast. He’s been heralded by critics and comedians alike as “The Clean Comic” or a “The Comic’s Comic” and, although he came off as supremely flattered by these titles, when I pressed him about them he seemed squeamish.

“It gets tiring, I’ll just give you the honest answer. But it’s also the nature of the beast, I’m defined in [that]way because most comedians are not clean. I’m hesitant to use this example, but The Beatles were clean… every song they ever wrote was clean. People don’t ask them what being clean means to them, or why it’s important to make clean songs. They just think about the fact that they’ve created a lot of music, and that’s how I try to look at comedy. I don’t go on stage thinking buckle up folks you’re about to get some lily white comedy coming your way, said Regan.

Making new

When comics come off of a high profile taping, the joke’s general life-cycle is complete. Unlike a hit song, jokes don’t really have a shelf life past being recorded. There’s no comedy version of “FREEBIRD!” to be yelled. Comedians want to keep it fresh for the audience and Regan is no exception.

“This is the most exciting time for me because I’m back into [a] “creating new stuff mode”. My show is about 75% new stuff at this point, and I’m trying things that are different from what I’d normally do. Now, I’m doing jokes about guns, and dabbling ever so gently into politics, and foreign policy, things that people who are familiar with me might be surprised by,” said Regan.

Whether you’re a hardcore fan or simply want to see a good show, now is the perfect chance to catch one of the most tried and true comedians on the planet working in the most interesting creative space possible. I’ll add this simply to make him squirm if he ever gets around to reading it, seeing Brian Regan do stand-up today is like being able to see Michael Jordan in his prime, if ya’ know… MJ was a white, middle-aged guy who joked about pop-tarts.

Brian will be performing at 7pm on Sunday, November 8 at The Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd | 419-381-8851 | brianregan.com, stranahantheater.org

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