Very few stand-up comedians reach great success without the Hollywood credits via starring in a television series or a movie. Brian Regan is one of the exceptional few. He tours year round and plays to sold out theaters across the nation. Through his “Everyman” persona and his high energy delivery, Regan has built a following that packs these big venues. This is a feat that only a true game changer attains.
The comic comes from a big family with seven brothers and sisters. He was born and raised around Miami, Florida. When he went off to Heidelberg College in Ohio, he was originally aspiring to become an accountant. However, after the encouragement of a football coach to study theater and communications, Regan changed his course. He actually dropped out of college to pursue stand-up.
This was the 1980s. The newly contending comedian moved back to Florida. To get by, he worked as a dishwasher and a cook at the Comic Strip in Ft. Lauderdale. After five years of cutting his teeth, he moved to to the east coast. He won a KROC radio contest in 1988 for the Funniest Comic in New York City. The grand prize was $10,000. Reagan’s club success was growing. In the early nineties, he was opening up for Jerry Seinfeld. By 1995, he made his debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. Regan is the record holder of having the most appearances, 28 of them, on the show. He has also gained recognition by the American Comedy Awards as the Best Club Comic in 1995 and 1996. Constantly on the road, the comic began headlining theater venues by the early 2000s.
While it is clear that the time spent touring has elevated his success, Regan’s style is one that reaches many types of people. He act is clean and lacks offensiveness, and it’s strength comes from the comic’s ability to heighten the everyday stuff. He makes a story about driving to the ER into a sarcastic, comical journey. Performing the bit, he mimes exaggerated casual driving during what would be a presumably stressful and urgent scenario. He can play with arrogance, and he can be the desperate guy looking for the appropriate reaction to a given situation. In another bit, he riffs on the idea of saying two things at once: “take care” and “good luck.” He ends up saying, “Take luck!” The rest of the punch is him toying with the different combinations of taking luck. His delivery becomes manic, almost like he is having a break down from the flub. It becomes a joke which relies on his word choice and mild self-deprecation. The mixture is hilarious. Regan has an act that includes wit, vulnerability, and a real physical presence.
From his strenuous touring schedule to his unique stage presence, Brian Regan has notably stood out to his peers. Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Patton Oswalt (to name a few) have all mentioned Regan as one of the best out there. Last year, the standup made headlines as the first comedian to perform Comedy Central’s first hour live special from Radio City Music Hall. Brian Regan is a game changer.