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Brian Regan back to South Bend

Alice Tollaksen | Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stand-up comedian Brian Regan will make another stop in South Bend on Sunday, April 28, at the Morris Performing Arts Center. Regan has been on tour in 2013, performing one-night shows in theaters across the United States. He said he is excited to come back to South Bend after he performed here in September 2011. 

“I haven’t released a new CD this year,” Regan said, “but I like to think that people will come who have seen me before and see something new. … It might not be funny, but at least the audience will leave thinking, ‘Well that was new!'”

Of course, Regan is as funny (and self-deprecating) in his interview as he is on stage. This kind of humor has established him among the most popular comedians today. 

One thing that makes Regan’s humor so popular is its accessibility. From family dinners to spelling bees, he jokes about everyday things almost any audience can relate to. Yet, although his act isn’t vulgar like those of many comedians today, I still hesitate to describe it as “family-friendly.” Regan said he does not call it “family-friendly,” either.

“I cringe at ‘family friendly’ and I cringe at the word ‘clean,’ although I think that can describe me,” he explained. “I don’t like to put labels on it. I think comedy is hard to describe, like music or architecture.”

Regan certainly knows a thing or two about the art of comedy – he has been doing stand-up for over 30 years. Throughout this time, he has stayed true to stand-up – touring regularly, filming Comedy Central specials and releasing material to his fans. He has also developed a unique style of comedy and a large following. 

Regan said people still ask him to describe his technique. 

“I used to have a joke answer that my comedy was Kierkegaardian with Machiavellian undertones, but then people started taking that seriously. Interviewers would say ‘Oh, I see it now,'” Regan said, laughing. “I stopped because I don’t want anyone to run some headline: “Kierkegaardian comedian brings Machiavellian undertones.'” 

Though he may not be Kierkegaardian, Regan’s humor is smart and insightful. He was recently featured on Jerry Seinfeld’s web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” where he chats and riffs with Seinfeld, showing off his comedy chops. 

In the series, Regan mentions seeing a comedian at Heidelberg College in Ohio when he was a student and immediately becoming interested in stand-up. When asked what advice he would give to aspiring comedians attending his upcoming college-town performance, he advised them to start performing anywhere they can. 

“I started stand-up in college, and my very first show was in front of all my friends at the student center,” Regan said. 

But the venue was not quite ideal.

“It did not work,” Regan said. “I would start a joke, going, ‘I was on the bus this morning,’ and my friends would go, ‘no, you weren’t!’

“I’m like, ‘Just go with it, guys,’ and they would yell, ‘We’ve been with you the whole day!'”

Regan encouraged aspiring comedians to always keep trying. And after decades of experience in the world of stand up, Brian Regan is certainly a perfect example of a comedian who never calls it quits. With his hilarious stories and incredible following, he’s one comedian who will never have to. 

Brian Regan will be at the Morris Performing Arts Center on Sunday, April 28 at 7 p.m

Contact Alice Tollaksen at atollaks@nd.edu