For comedian Brian Regan, it's not easy being clean

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      Brian Regan has a secret dream. The standup-comedy veteran is sick of all the unnecessary attention paid to the fact his act is as family-friendly as they come.

      “I joke around with other comedians,” he told the Straight by phone from his home in Las Vegas. “I say I would love to do a special on TV where I come out on-stage and I’m wearing a sweatshirt that has the f word on it and a hat that has the f word on it and the backdrop is just a big curtain that has the f word on it, but do my act completely clean and just say, ”˜Now what are they going to write about?’ ”

      Maybe Regan gets the “clean” label because he’s got no other hook. You will not hear or see the equivalent of a “Git-r-done!” or a “SuFi” from him when he makes his second visit to town next Thursday (April 15) at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. What you will get is totally original, laugh-yourself-silly comedy.

      “I think a lot of comedians work towards a hook or angle and I try to work away from that,” he says. “As soon as I read, like, more than three articles that define me a certain way, I start writing away from that. I don’t want to be like a one-trick pony. For a while it was, like, Brian Regan’s the guy who always feels like an idiot on-stage or the guy who always crouches around on-stage. I like that and I was proud of that, but I don’t want to be just that.”

      Regan is of a rare breed of comic who appeals to all, even those normally more attuned to an edgier brand of standup. So-called alternative comedians, like Patton Oswalt and Todd Glass, worship him. And with good reason. The guy is flat-out hilarious. The fact he’s able to sell out theatres throughout North America without the benefit of regular television exposure is a testament to his abilities. The numerous YouTube clips from his TV specials are watched by millions.

      Does he care that his DVDs are essentially being given away? A little bit, but not enough to do anything about it. Not that he could, anyway.

      “My manager and I were trying to brainstorm ways of seeing what we could control and what we can’t. Five years later we’ve come to the conclusion that we really can’t control anything.” He laughs. “There’s definitely a benefit to it, but that still doesn’t make it necessarily right that people view things for free. But I don’t complain about it because the overall benefit outweighs the negative. So many people are aware of me because of the Internet.”

      And despite his numerous popular TV specials, chances are you won’t ever see him on his own weekly sitcom. There have been development deals through the years but nothing has ever come of them.

      “I get less and less concerned about a TV thing because this is what I like to do,” he says. “I like doing standup. If I were to do a TV show, I would want it to be about the comedy. I’m not interested in any way in the fame, so to speak. That doesn’t intrigue me. I like people liking the comedy.”

      And that they do. Because Brian Regan is one f word–ing funny comic.

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      9 Comments

      Melia

      Sep 21, 2010 at 2:31pm

      When is he coming back to Austin,TX? We love him here!

      mattm1980

      Nov 22, 2010 at 8:24am

      My first exposure to Brian was his first cd that a friend downloaded from a peer-sharing software program illegally, to date I've bought all but one of this dvds(soon to be rectified) and seen him live.

      So yes, it sucks that people rip him off, but for me without that I would never heard of him when i did and become a fan as early as I did.

      Chris_in_DBQ

      Dec 6, 2010 at 10:03am

      I agree. Somebody shared one of his CDs with me. I just bought his whole DVD collection for my family for Xmas, plus the new download. 68 bucks and worth every penny! So Brian, don't worry about internet stealing!

      RIck

      Feb 11, 2011 at 2:52pm

      Brian,
      Being known for being clean and hilarious is an achievement. It is not about being "family friendly" it is about who is more creative. Your facial expressions make the act as enjoyable as your words. People respect that you are clean. Anybody can say a swear word and get a laugh but not many people can make you laugh about an ironing board. Keep up your style and who cares about all the other comedians who might pressure you to change. They need to grow up and talk like an adult.
      Sincerely,
      Rick T

      Sam Hill

      Feb 21, 2011 at 7:18pm

      Yeah, I can see that. I would probably get sick and tired also of people pigeon holing me about being a "clean comic." I honestly don't even think that was his goal. It just happened that his style didn't envolve "unclean" material.

      I’ve never been famous and probably never will but I do have to admit that this would be the biggest annoyance. Having people always coming up to you and saying the same thing over and over. Even when they’re being sincere and nice but constantly saying I really like your comedy because its clean. Even though people are just being nice and appreciative they don’t realize just how often he hears it, like a broken record. Wow! that would get old fast.

      When I first started to like him I didn't even notice whether his comedy was clean or not I just thought he was funny. It wasn't until everyone started talking about it that I noticed a lack of crass shock humor.

      To be honest I’m an adult and I really don’t care whether he is clean or not as long I get to laugh; however, with that being said I do think it is amazing that he can make me laugh. Up until I heard him I really didn’t believe it was possible for a comic to be funny and still be relatively clean because I have heard others try and all I wanted to do was roll my eyes and say “well isn’t that sweet.” This is why I believe now that it isn’t whether he is clean or not that makes him a success it is that he is able to project his humorous personality through his comedy. It is his personality that makes us laugh.

      Also lets face it he has been doing for a while now and it has paid off. He is much more polished and confident and has really pefected his craft to where he completely understands and knows what he is doing.

      Stephanie & Nate

      Mar 9, 2011 at 7:59am

      We'd really love it if you came to Providence or Newport RI sometime soon, we love your act!!

      Lee M

      Apr 9, 2011 at 10:19am

      It doesn't take much talent to be vulgar. In fact relatively no talent at all. Its a rare and fantastic gift to be able to make people laugh without using degrading language.

      This ability put Brian heads above the rest, and someone I am willing to support.

      Jennifer MD

      Jul 11, 2011 at 1:50pm

      The fact that Brian can do standup without using curse words is astounding, and it proves that he has a special talent to make it filarious. Not everyone can have an intelligent vocabulary and be impressive with it.

      Randy Miller

      Sep 19, 2011 at 2:54pm

      Personally, I think he's the best thing in stand-up today. But then, I relate to his brand of humor.