Clean-cut ‘comic’s comic’

CLINTON OLSASKY, Executive Editor | [email protected]

“If you like music, if you like dancing, and if you like comedy, well come on out because you’re going to see one-third of that,” said stand-up comedian Brian Regan in reference to his upcoming show at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC) on Saturday, April 2.

Regan has been described as a “comic’s comic” by the New York Times.

Specializing in observational humor on otherwise mundane topics, Regan has fashioned a distinct comedic style in which he incorporates a significant amount of body language and facial expressions.

However, perhaps the most identifiable aspect of Regan’s comedy is the lack of vulgarity.

“I just try to do what works for me,” Regan said about his relatively clean style. “You know, I’m not on stage trying to please an audience. I mean, that’s part of it, but the most important thing is just trying to do what I think is funny. I want audiences to agree. And so, the clean thing for is just that that’s the kind of stuff that I enjoy creating.”

Regan has virtually devoted his entire adult life to building up his stand-up career.

Before deciding to become a comedian, he had attended Heidelberg College in Ohio with plans of becoming an accountant. However, in his last semester in 1980, he dropped out.

“When I decided I wanted to be a comedian, that was like – wow! All of a sudden, passion went into my soul,” Regan said. “I just wasn’t passionate about being an accountant.”

Regan would later finish his college degree in 1997.

Since that time, Regan has been able to carve out an incredibly successful career for himself, largely off the strength of his stand-up performances.

According to Regan, he typically does around 100 stand-up performances a year across the country.

The performance this Saturday will be Regan’s first ever show on UNI’s campus. However, he said that he had performed in the city of Cedar Falls once before, in 2009.

“I tend to like to play anywhere and everywhere,” Regan said. “I like smaller towns, but I also like big cities. And it’s nice to be able to do a little bit of both.”

Besides his extensive work on the stand-up circuit, Regan has appeared on talk shows hosted by David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon and was even featured in Chris Rock’s hit movie “Top Five.”

Regan has also appeared in an episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” a web series hosted by Jerry Seinfeld.

In addition, Regan’s most recent stand-up special, “Brian Regan: Live from Radio City Music Hall,” was the first ever special that was broadcast live on Comedy Central. 

Regan reflected on how many of the opportunities he has received in his career came as a result of his friends in the comedy community, which have included Letterman, Rock and Seinfeld.

“Comedians have given me a boost, if you will,” Regan said. “That’s what comedians have done for me. I have a strong feeling towards my fellow comedians. Lately, I’ve been fortunate that people have been giving me opportunities like this. It’s been fun.”

Regan went on to explain what audience members can expect from his show, citing simplicity as one of stand-up comedy’s most appealing aspects.

“Comedy is beautifully simplistic; that’s one thing I love about it,” Regan said. “I like looking at the stage before the show starts. It’s a microphone stand and if you’re extravagant, you have a stool and a bottle of water on it. And that’s it. And I’m just going to stand behind that thing and try to make people laugh. It’s a fun experience.”

Regan’s performance at the GBPAC will take place at 8 p.m. on April 2. Ticket prices start at $41.