Courtesy of Friedman Bergman
Joining the ranks of comedy greats like Jerry Seinfeld and Dave Chappelle, Brian Regan is like a rotisserie chicken in the world of seasoned stand-up comedians.
From Pop-Tarts to glasses of water, Regan’s observational humor has proven him to become one of the top stand-up comics in the industry.
“I’ve been doing comedy for 97 years,” Regan said. “I have an AARP card, so that’ll give you an idea of how long I’ve been doing comedy.”
He said he started officially doing comedy around 1981.
His time in the industry has led him to appear numerous times on shows like “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Regan grew up near Miami, Florida. He said some of his comedic style can be attributed to his “Leave It to Beaver” early life.
“It was a very generic, normal upbringing,” he said. “In a way that has been a part of my comedy because my comedy comes from an every man’s perspective who has lived a pretty basic kind of life.”
Athletic training senior Hannah Galsterer has been a fan of Regan’s since high school.
“He has a simplistic form of comedy,” Galsterer said. “His content isn’t vulgar, and he doesn’t need to use profanity to attract his audience and make them laugh.”
Regan has a reputation as a “family-friendly” comic, but he said these kinds of labels can be limiting.
“If somebody has never seen my comedy and they hear ‘Oh he’s clean,’ they’re going to picture something that is probably quite different that what I do,” he said.
He likes to use The Beatles as an example of this.
“If you say to someone ‘Wow you should listen to The Beatles they’re very clean, they’re amazingly clean, all of their songs are clean,’ you wouldn’t picture The Beatles,” Regan said. “I feel the same way about comedy, it’s a small part of the overall picture.”
Unlike many other comedians, Brian didn’t make a name for himself from landing a hit sitcom or dramatic role. While he has been seen in Chris Rock’s film “Top Five,” and has been featured in Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” most of his work is through his stand-up.
Performing at least 100 stand-up shows annually, Regan doesn’t shy away from bringing his unique brand of humor to a variety of people. He said traveling this extensively takes a special kind of balance.
“I’m insane, unsane, nonsane,” Regan said. “We’re all jugglers in life, so I’m jugging my career, I have kids, I have goals, I have dreams, I travel, I like to golf, I like to sleep—I try to juggle everything and have time for a different part of my life.”
Regan will be visiting San Diego on his stand-up tour Nov. 17 at the Balboa Theater. On top of his touring, the first of his two new Netflix specials, “Nunchucks and Flamethrowers” will premiere Nov. 21.
Linguistics senior Katrin Tharp recently started watching Regan’s stand-up and has become a fan.
“I have been trying to find new stand-up to watch, so I’m excited for his new Netflix special,” she said.
Before his days selling out arenas and traveling the world with his humor, Regan attended Heidelberg College in Ohio.
“(I studied) astrophysical kinesiology, oh no I’m sorry, communication and theater arts,” he said.
He dropped out of school to pursue stand-up comedy, but eventually finished his degree in 1997.
“The cool thing about stand-up is I have yet to go to a venue where they say ‘Can’t come in here unless you have a college degree,’” Regan said.
He said he thinks too much pressure is put on young people to figure out their life plan.
“I went to college thinking I was going to be an accountant, and now I stand on stage telling jokes,” Regan said. “It’s normal and natural to change, so be open and willing to go where the wind blows you.”
He’s not much for overselling himself, but Regan hopes the students of San Diego State can take a little something from his special.
“I’ve already contacted the powers be, and everyone will be awarded three credit hours by watching my special,” he said. “So for that reason alone, people should watch.”