Never one to hold back with his truths during his set, Brian Regan's humor seems to be relatable to all ages which is no doubt why he's one of the greatest comics roaming the earth right now. He took some time out to talk to us before his new special comes out live from Radio City Music Hall on Comedy Central September 26th and before his upcoming gig this weekend in the OC. Observational humor that will leave you wanting more? Check. A touch of self-loathing? Check. Tickets in hand to see the funny go down at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Saturday September 12th? What? No check? Get on it!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): So this might be weird but, I became familiar with you through Opie N Anthony. I know people talk about how clean you are and yet, I found you on the dirtiest of shows. It must feel great that your fans kind of transcend the PC barriers.
Brian Regan: Yeah well, I appreciate you saying that. Even though some people might describe my comedy as clean, I don't think of it in those terms. Even though it is, the clean thing isn't important to me because to me, I just like being funny. I also like that there are many comedians out there who work blue or dirty that also like what I do. It's not like I'm riding around on a white horse with a mission statement like, “THE WORLD NEEDS TO BE CLEAN!” [Laughs.] It's just a different way of doing comedy.
How sick are you of talking about how you keep it clean? It's like everyone brings it up. Oh crap, my bad.
[Laughs.] Well I mean, there's no avoiding it. I like golf and when I watch Phil Mickelson get interviewed after he loses a tournament or something, he's always so gracious. So I always feel like, working clean is something that's important to a lot people out there. I just have to buckle up and get ready for a lifetime of answering questions about it!
It seems like a lot of comics get backlash for blue material so maybe you had it right all along.
Well you know, I don't do what I do to distinguish myself from the other comedians. I do it because it's the kind of comedy that I like doing. I like talking about everyday things. Sometimes they are very bland things on purpose! There are times that I want to go after a mundane subject and see what's in there. It's sort of like, this is going to be a horrific image and I don't know why I thought of it but, it's like when there's a dead carcass out in the African wild with a bunch of vultures out there. Most of them have flown away but I still like to stay there because there's still a little meat on those bones! [Laughs.] That's the way I feel about topics. There's still something left here! Why are you all flying away? There's still more comedy here!
Haha that's frightening and yet, totally great. I know you have a lot of friends in the industry yet, you only follow four people on Twitter. Is four your favorite number or are you a low-key Twitter snob? What gives?
[Laughs.] It's not that I'm a snob in any way it's just that I don't participate in that world too much at all. It's not that they can't be entertaining but I guess it's just that when I have time off, I want to read a book with my kids or do things other than reading quips and thoughts from thousands of people.
It's so crazy that is what our lives have become. I was out to dinner the other night and I looked over at this family of four and they were all on their phones. All of them!
I was in a diner during the day and there were six teenage boys sitting around a table and all six of them were just clicking away on their iPhones. I mean, they were sitting in a circle at a table and I was thinking, shouldn't the people you're with get the priority? I guess that's not the way it is in today's world.
They were probably talking to each other too.
[Laughs.] They probably were! I've been in those situations too where you're out with some people at dinner and someone at the table will text you about someone else at the table! Like, “Do you believe this guy?” And you're like, oh please, my brain is going to explode if I have to have a side conversation in the middle of the main conversation!
Haaa! Your friends are bad! Alright, I want to see if I have the info correct on your upcoming special. You are legit doing it live? Like, with no delay?
It's going out live! Live, live, live! Like Saturday Night Live is live on the east coast but they air it later on the west coast so, that's what they'll do with this. It's literally live and then the west will see it later but I doubt they'll change anything with it unless something horrific happens! [Laughs.] So yeah, it's live and it's the first one that Comedy Central has ever done. I ran the idea by them and they were like, uhhhh OK. So we're doing it!
I love this idea because I live for stand-up so it's cool to see something innovative. It's so hard to do anything new in 2015.
I really appreciate that because that's my feeling about it too. I look forward to other specials but those are always done in a more conventional way where you shoot it and edit it. And that's fun too but, what the heck? You only live once so it's ok to go for the green and two on a par five every now and then.
You have a lot of golf references.
[Laughs.] Yeah, I don't know why I'm speaking in golf metaphors today but hopefully I'll be able to drain a thirty foot putt the night of my live special!
OK I have nothing on golf. I guess I need to step up my game and stay out of sand traps or whatever. By the way, do you have a good Orange County reference to open with when you're at Segerstrom Center for the Arts?
Ummm…I really don't. I usually don't do a lot of geographical jokes. I remember once doing a local reference at a college, and this is so bizarre but, a kid backstage said, “Make sure you talk about everybody driving on the sidewalks because everyone drives on them around here.” It kind of went in one ear and I thought it went out of the other ear but then I get on stage and I was only doing so-so. So then I said, boy you guys really like to drive on the sidewalks here and everyone started laughing! So I just kept adlibbing about them driving on the sidewalk and started thinking, wow, this is like backwards comedy! I'm the only one in this room that doesn't get any of these jokes! [Laughs.] I had no clue what they were laughing at and I just kept winging it like, “I think I'll just go ahead and drive on the sidewalk!” Basically I was doing five minutes without knowing what I was even talking about. Hey you know what? Maybe Costa Mesa likes driving on the sidewalk too. We'll see!
Grab your tickets to see Brian Regan at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on September 12th, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. (714) 556-2787. For tickets go to www.scfta.org. Also be sure to tune into September 26th for Brian Regan: Live-The First Live Stand-up Special in Comedy Central history or if you're in New York, grab tickets here. For more info on Brian, visit www.BrianRegan.com, become a fan on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter: @BrianReganComic.
Ali Lerman knows much about comedy, basketball, and celebrating Wu-Tang Wednesday. She’s been writing for sixteen years and still calls her mom with grammatical questions.