OA: Comedian Brian Regan Interview February 13, 2009
Comedian Brian Regan has solidified himself as a titan of comedy, from stand-up on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” to regular appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” to his own Showtime and Comedy Central specials.
Regan has released CDs and DVDs since he began touring the country in the late ’80s and ’90s.
He performs in Grand Junction on Friday, Feb. 13, at Avalon Theatre.
Stiles: Obviously, your routines have changed since the ’80s, but how have they changed?
Have you thought about that?
Regan: I like to talk about whatever’s interesting to me at the time. When I first started doing comedy I tended to do material about being a kid, because I had just been a kid. I started in my early 20s, you know. But now I do more stuff about having high cholesterol and signing mortgage documents and having kids and being married and the world I live in. It changes from year to year and I’ve been fortunate enough to have the kind of following that seems to be cool with me talking about different things every time I come to town.
Stiles: Do you cater your acts to the city you’re performing in?
Regan: Not as much as I used to be able to. I used to perform in comedy clubs and you’d be there four, five days. You get a feel for the place. But now that I do these one-nighters I tend to get into town about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, I take a nap in the hotel and then I get to the showroom that night. About the only local jokes I have are about the pillows ... I like being able to see all these different parts of the country, but I don’t really get to experience them as much as I like.
Stiles: Aren’t your routines usually family friendly?
Regan: Yeah, I’m not like, overly offensive. I don’t really use any language that would throw people out of kilter. I just talk about everyday things and it happens to be the kind of stuff that I guess people wouldn’t feel uncomfortable bringing a teen boy or girl to.
Stiles: You seem to be really popular in Utah.
Regan: I was getting a lot of comments on my Web page on the guest book before I ever performed there saying, “How come you don’t perform in Salt Lake City? How come you don’t perform in Utah?” You get them for all different parts of the country, but there was just a disproportionate amount from Salt Lake City. So I was like, we should probably book a show there ... It turned out that I’ve got a bit of following there. It’s always flattering to find out that people like what you do.
Stiles: What are you working on now?
Regan: My joke answer is that I’m working on a pamphlet ... Other people are working on movies and sitcoms and I’m working on a fold-out kind of pamphlet. No, I’m just right now doing my stand up around the country and I really like doing this. If a TV thing happens along the way, then that would be cool. If not, life is cool.
Stiles: Have you thought about what your sitcom would be like?
Regan: It probably wouldn’t be conventional. You know, I think those kinds of shows have been done and have been done incredibly well. If I were to do something I’d want it to be a little bit different. I don’t know exactly what that would be like ... I’d want to have a kind of show where people go “huh, this is off the tracks a touch” and maybe be intrigued by it. To me, I’d like to do something where you swing for the fence and either you hit a home run or you strike out.