Comedian Brian Regan returns to Beaver Creek Sunday
If You Go
What: Comedian Brian Regan
Where: Vilar Center for the Performing Arts
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Information: For information about the Vilar or tickets, call 888-920-ARTS, buy them in person at the VPAC box office in Beaver Creek, or go to vilarpac.org. For information about Brian Regan, go to brianregan.com
Young Brian Regan 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.”
And that, as they say, was that.
Regan is now one of the world’s most successful, enduring and endearing stand-up comedians. He’s been at it since the 1980s and has performed at least 80 shows a year every year since 2005. Regan stops Sunday night at the Vilar Performing Arts Center during a swing through Colorado.
We caught up with him at his Las Vegas home.
“Everybody in Las Vegas has white tigers and we walk them together. I’m from Miami, Fla., and I said to myself, ‘There has to be a place that’s hotter than Miami. I’ll move there,’” Regan said.
Clean enough for the kids
Regan is a goofball by design, and he’s great because he works at it. He scripts every show and knows exactly what’s coming next, except when it doesn’t. Like when people keep asking for the bit about a cup of dirt.
“I’ve had people walk up to me holding a cup of dirt,” Regan said.
There was the guy in Atlanta. A big guy in a flannel shirt walked up to the stage and handed him a video of a TV fishing show, and said in a huge, deep voice, “Do that bit.”
And so he did.
His material always works because, in the “Us versus Them” dynamic that pervades so much of life, Brian Regan is one of “Us.”
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 you should call social services to report their parents. He sold out 10 straight shows at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, more than 26,000 tickets.
Regan balances sophisticated writing with physicality. His genius is in seeing the absurd in everyday topics, and punctuating them with just the right amount of physicality. He compares chess to football, where a quarterback shouts “Touchdown” before a score and walks off the field.
He just did his 25th appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” the most of any comedian.
“It seems to be a rotation, about every nine months. Sometimes they call me like a firefighter, ‘Hey Brian, it’s time to slide down the pole!’” Regan said.
‘It never gets old’
He tried his hand at comedy a couple times when he was in college, once in a college bar with about 60 of his friends in the audience.
“It didn’t go well. I started out saying, ‘I was on a bus this morning,’ and they all said, ‘no you weren’t!’”
He didn’t know anything about the comedy business, so on a whim he tried a comedy club in Fort Lauderdale and it felt more like he thought it was supposed to because no one knew him.
He got there early to draw numbers for a slot and found himself in the middle of the roster.
“I figured it must be good because people kept trying to trade with me,” Regan said.
He has a few CDs, a live concert performance, “All By Myself,” and a couple Comedy Central specials on DVD, “The Epitome of Hyperbole” and “Brian Regan Standing Up.”
Success is great and he’s grateful, 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.