In most minds, comedians who perform "clean" are generally not considered the same as those performers whose acts are more risqué. In the case of Brian Regan "clean" equates a streamlined and creative approach enthusiastically welcomed by audiences of every age and walk of life. Therefore, it is clear to see why Brian Regan has become one of the most sought after comics on television today.
Though Regan readily admits that he was a big fan of Johnny Carson and a student of the comedy on "The Tonight Show" as a kid, his career in comedy didnt begin to take shape until he was in Heidelberg College in Ohio. It was there, while playing football and majoring in accounting, that his football coach suggested he look into theater as a creative outlet. By the second year he was already on stage and a performing was forming.
An acting coach soon recognized Regans comedic timing and suggested that he do some stand-up to broaden his skills. The idea had been forming in the back of Regans mind for some time and the words of encouragement gave him the extra strength he needed to believe he could really make it work. He began working at the Comic Strip in his native South Florida, in 1981 as a host and cook, patiently awaiting his opportunity to appear on stage. The wait proved to be a short one.
Although he was an instant success behind the microphone, Regan chose to acquire two and a half years of experience at the club before branching out. He quickly became the house MC on weekends, though it took him months before he had the guts to call himself a comedian. The period that followed, from 1984-87, was one of Regans most thrilling times, as he branched out to the road and made a smooth transition into middle act.
Regan has always had a sense of being a team player. During his progression from MC to middle act to headliner he remained respectful of other acts on the show, mainly due to his upbringing in a large family.
Brian was the forth of eight children (brother and fellow comedian Dennis was third oldest in a family of six boys and two girls) and he credits a "funny family" as being the basis for his now universal comedy. Building his act with a mixture of insightfulness and silly exaggeration, Regan made a name for himself touching on memories of childhood and family life that nearly everyone can relate to. Closely monitoring his development, Regan made the decision to make his break and move to New York City in 1986.
By 1988 Regan had earned his stripes as a full-fledged headliner. He had learned how to "push himself", fully understanding what it took to be a strong closer and knowing the tricks of the trade to win over audiences. He developed a persona, finding ways to take the generic and mix it with a silly, super absurd viewpoint to emerge with an act that is a grand tour of the basics of human behavior. His efforts culminated with his winning $ 10,000 in "The K-Rock Miller Lite Funniest Person in New York" contest that same year.
Whereas blue comedy and outrageousness will get you noticed in a hurry, Regan had chosen the road less taken and gradually was building his career brick by brick. His choice to keep the act "television friendly" has placed him in demand on both network and cable television.
Regan has done two specials for Showtime Television in the last few years, "Somethings Wrong With The Regan Boy" and "A Pair of Jokers", which teamed him up with brother Dennis. Other highlights in an endless stream of television appearances include his first spot on "The Tonight Show" starring Johnny Carson on which Regan sat panel, a feat that was previously unheard of for first time comedians on the show, "Late Night With David Letterman," a regular stint on Comedy Central as a host of "Short Attention Span Theater," and an appearance at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festivals Gala Performance for Showtime Television in Montreal.
1992 proved to be another banner year in Regans rocketing career. Besides continuing his work as one of the busiest club headliners in the business, Regan also performed for 80,000 people at University of Floridas "Gator Growl" Homecoming. Following in the footsteps of performers such as Bob Hope, Bill Cosby, Robin Williams and Rodney Dangerfield, Regan had a "walk on water" night and won raves for his performance.
Acting is something that Regan has his sights set on, but like the careful construction of his stand-up career, it will be a choice made for reasons of quality, not necessity.
The comedy road ahead for Regan is not one he feels any great pressure about – hes used to perpetual writing and roadwork and embraces it. His main goal in life sums up what makes the guy tick. "I want to be a better person away from comedy," says Regan warmly, "Im comfortable with my career, my friends and family, but you can always be a better human being." With an act that rejoices in the life experience, the material will come. With a mind like Brian Regans hell be ready to see it for what it is worth and translate it into comedy. "Clean comedy" doesnt have to be a dirty word. Brian Regan- proof positive.