Tuesday, 23 October 2012 16:20

Comedy Veteran Brian Regan Keeps it Clean, Keeps it Funny

Written by  Josh Spanninga
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Brian Regan
Kalamazoo State Theatre
Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m.
kazoostate.com, (269) 345-6500

Brian Regan doesn't have to lace his comedy with obscenities to be funny. In fact, to do so would be counterintuitive.

"I have no problem with blue comedy from a fan perspective," Regan said. "But it's not natural for me as a performer."

What is natural for him is to rant on about everyday subjects ranging from issues with UPS to visiting airports, and to do so in a goofy, animated way. While his approach to comedy may differ from more controversial acts like Louis C.K., Regan still has an appreciation for all types of comedy.

"To me, comedy is sort of like music. There's all different kinds of music, and there's all different kinds of comedy ... You can do one kind of music and appreciate another kind of music, and it's the same with comedy."

Growing up, Regan loved watching "The Carol Burnett Show," as well as sketch and stand-up comedy. Throughout his childhood, he remained a comedy fan, but never really thought of pursuing it as a career until college. Once the thought occurred to him, it was obvious what he had to do.

"It was sort of like a 'Eureka!' moment where I was like, 'Maybe I could be a comedian.' It was like this audacious thought that I had and I refused to get it out of my head."

In 1980, Regan dropped out of college to pursue his comedy dream full time. After building up a reputation for himself in the comedy club circuit, he made TV appearances in the early '90s. In 1997, he released his debut comedy album, Brian Regan Live.

He began hitting the late night TV circuit heavily, appearing on Conan O'Brien and Craig Kilborn, and he has a whopping 27 appearances on the "Late Show with David Letterman" to his credit. With all of this experience, he's become an expert at reformatting his act to fit on short TV spots.

"You get five minutes and you want to get your foot in the door as quickly as possible and you want to be rocking and rolling fairly quickly. It's that zero-to-60 thing. You're trying to get out there and get into it as fast as possible, yet still looking natural. It's challenging."

Over the years, Regan gained recognition as a comedian, and as new fans have attempted to label and define his comedy, Regan's reaction has always been to switch it up.

"Some people might gravitate towards how they're being defined, and say, 'Hey wow, there's a hope for me here,' but for me, I immediately go the other way because I don't want to be painted into a corner, I don't want to be a one trick pony."

But there is one thing about Regan that won't ever change, though.

"I feel like a goof 23 hours out of a day, and then the other hour I get to hop onstage and talk about it. I'm fortunate in that I did that hour on a nightly basis to kind of throw myself out there in a humorous way, and it means a lot to me that people seem to respond to it."

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