MELBOURNE ― Comedian Brian Regan will be bringing his unique brand of observational humor to the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts on April 18.
This will be the comedians fifth visit to Melbourne having preformed in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2018.
Mr. Regan understands that comedy relies on an evolution of storytelling. His comedy is fluid and has, for him, become a constantly changing talent.
“I’ve been doing it for 110 years now, doing comedy,” he said. “It’s important, I think, to constantly evolve and talk about things that are important at the time. If you keep doing the same stuff over and over again it gets boring for me as the performer so I would assume it would be boring for the audience.”
His passions for comedy developed at a later age, beginning in his 20s when he attended Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. During a speech class, Mr. Regan preformed in front of his peers and professor. His speech brought them uncontrollable laughter.
From that point forward, Mr. Regan put his talents to use at any opportunity he could find.
“When I was in college I would try to get on a microphone as much as possible," he said. "They would ask me if I would go to the gymnasium during basketball games and introduce the basketball players, introduce the cheerleaders and I would take all those opportunities even though it wasn’t as a stand-up comedian. It was still being on a microphone and I was able to be funny."
He would host mock game shows with his college friends and bring his eccentric style of humor to parties and gatherings.
“I hosted a dorm game show. That was fun. I had a sport jacket in my closet in college. I would put that on and I acted like I was an actual host and I remember making everyone laugh while I did that," he said "So, I would just take every opportunity that I could to be in front of people and see if I could be humorous while I did it. All of those experiences helped pushed me towards being a stand-up comedian.”
Utilizing his awkward, creative facial expressions to build jokes, his humor is often based in the realities of everyday living.
Mr. Regan's comedy is unique in that he mainly focuses on "clean" material, never really leaning into vulgarity or profanity.
“It’s not always helpful, at least in terms of a particular audience. Sometimes you can be playing a bar that has 10 cent tequila night and the other two comedians are filthy, then I hit the stage and I’m talking about doughnut sprinkles and the audience is just like ‘Give us some meat!’," he said. "It can be challenging. I've done my best to stick to my guns over the years.”
Mr. Reagan's recent Netflix special, "On the Rocks", is currently available on the streaming service. Now in his later years, he jokes about his graying hair and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder conundrums.
In preparation for his show, Mr. Regan has been working on transitioning new material to the Melbourne audience.
“I’m very flattered that I’m in a place in my career where I get to do stuff like Netflix specials. It’s very rewarding to have been around long enough to develop a bit of a following and presence and all of that," he said. "As far as the show, there will be some stuff from that special, but I’m in the process of working away from that material. Once I shoot a special, I start the process of trying to create a new special. I’m in that experimental phase.”
Mr. Regan is no stranger to late-night talk shows through his career. He's appearing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but did 28 episodes of Late Show with David Letterman.
“It was incredible for my career to get on any of those late-night shows. It was important," he said. "I definitely had a good thing with The Late Show with David Letterman. The fact that they had me on so often was very flattering.”
One of the most rewarding gifts for any comedian is laughter, but Mr. Regan appreciated making the infamous host erupt with laughter the most.
“It was amazing to hear him laugh,” he said. “He had this funny way of laughing, this distinct cackle. When I was out there doing my stand-up and I heard him laughing behind me, it was really amazing. It’s like you almost wanted to stop and look into the camera and go: ‘You know what, I could care less about the rest of you, the guy behind me is laughing. That’s all I care about right now’.”
In addition to his stand up performance and Netflix specials, Mr. Regan is also a cast member on the series Loudermilk
“The show is kind of a departure for me because the show itself is very dark, it’s very funny but it’s also very serious," he said.
The show stars Ron Livingston as Sam Loudermilk, a former writer and now a rehab counselor whose no-nonsense, snarky attitude toward people and recovery often presents him with hilarious consequences.
Mr. Regan plays Winston "Mugsy" Bennigan, a recovering alcoholic and member of the recovery group.
“If someone only wants to watch clean content, then maybe this show isn’t for them, but if someone is open to something off the beaten path… it can get a little dirty, get a little raunchy," he said. "It’s also very real and very raw. It’s very heartwarming too. I would hope people give it a watch. It’s gotten a lot of buzz and I’m proud to be on it.”
His character's evolution grows as the seasons progresses. Amazon Prime currently streams seasons one and two. Season three will premier mid-April.
“They give me a lot to do in season three. Season one I had like one or two episodes where they did things with my character," he said. "Season two they gave me more. Season three they really centered a lot of it around my character.”
At the end of the day, Mr. Regan feels the laughter he brings to his fans helps him connect with them.
“The thing about laughter is that very few people fake it,” he said. “When you’re getting people laughing it’s a communication that you can trust, you know? When you get a room full of people, or even get an individual laughing, it’s a human connection that is about as pure and real as you can get. You feel like you’re bonding with someone or you feel like you’re bonding with an audience. It’s very rewarding to have that connection.”
Tickets begin at $62.50, inclusive of fees. Mr. Regan will perform at 7 p.m. The show will include social distancing to comply with current health regulations.
Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts is located at 3865 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne.
For more information and ticket sales, visit www.kingcenter.com.