BEAVER CREEK — Comedy is like anything else. It’s work to make it look effortless.
Take Brian Regan, for instance. He talks about kids, cholesterol, doughnuts, Disney World, how many Fig Newtons to eat in one sitting and, of course, a flock of moosen … the stuff of life.
Like this: “I’m wearing new contacts. I just had my prescription changed after six years. You ever wait that long? Then you get new lenses; you’re like: ‘Man, I coulda been seeing things!’ How can instantly improved vision not be at the top of your to do list?”
Regan works at least 80 shows a year, including a stop by the Vilar last year, to which he returns today. He can pack the same venues year after year because he’s prolific and you can relate to him.
In January of 2012, Regan Brian broke the record for the most consecutive sold-out shows by a comedian at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. Ten shows, all funny, and 26,000 tickets sold. In March of 2010, Regan performed five sold-out shows at the same venue, breaking the previous record of four shows set by Jerry Seinfeld in 2005.
He made his first appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1995 and just notched his 26th gig with Letterman.
Comedy on a whim
These days, Regan calls Las Vegas home.
“Everybody in Las Vegas has white tigers, and we walk them together. I’m from Miami, Florida, and I said to myself, ‘There has to be a place that’s hotter than Miami. I’ll move there,’” Regan said.
Regan says he grew up well-adjusted in the suburbs with seven siblings, played Little League baseball and was in spelling bees, all topics that he frequently returns to for material. He studied accounting at Ohio’s Heidelberg College and played on the football team there.
IT JUST FEELS RIGHT
He dropped out during his last semester to pursue a career in stand-up comedy.
He had just left his college speech class rolling on the floor laughing. As he was walking across campus he remembers saying to himself, ‘I don’t feel like this when I’m walking back from biology class.’”
He didn’t know anything about the comedy business, so on a whim he tried a comedy club in Fort Lauderdale. It felt just right and he kept doing it.
He’s been a road comic for more than three decades, and says he’s doing exactly what he wants. It’s not about turning his comedy into a sitcom pilot.
Most of Regan’s material is clean. It’s one of the only comedy shows with children in the audience and you don’t feel compelled to call social services to report their parents.
He’s grateful for the success, but he says the best payoff is making people laugh, that no matter what the junk in their trunk when they sat down, he can make them forget about it for a while — including himself.
“Making a roomful of people laugh, it never gets old,” Regan said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.