Even big comedy stars sometimes need time to just lounge around on the couch — such as the family-friendly Brian Regan.
The comedian is set to make an appearance in Augusta once again on Friday, Aug. 25. He recently spoke about his life and influences — and about how one of his greatest comedy influences is someone he’s known from the time he was born.
“I know there’s a silly component (to my comedy); my mom and dad — my mom is very silly, and I think that part of her has gotten into me. She’s very smart; you would never beat her at “Jeopardy,” is an English major, has a master’s in English. One of her favorite comedians was Andy Kaufman, and my mom would just sit there and laugh at him, and I remember trying to figure that out, and I like Andy Kaufman, too. But I liked the fact that my mom liked him and that she got a kick out of him. … I like to think I have a smart layer to (my) comedy, but I also certainly like throwing the silly on there.”
With a career spanning more than a couple of decades, Regan’s first comedy album, titled “Brian Regan Live,” hits its 20th anniversary this year. In the time since he first broke out, his presence steadily has been growing. Netflix recently cut him a deal for two stand-up specials, the first of which was recorded earlier this summer in Denver and is scheduled to stream in November.
The guy who’s known for having clean comedy says that unlike some of his colleagues, he needs to take breaks between work.
“Some people put a lot of energy into what they do. And I like to take breaks; I need to regroup. As much as I like doing standup, I also like chillin’ and laying on the couch. I need to recharge. Some people are charged up throughout their whole life and their whole career, which is great, but what works for me is to be into it and then take my foot off the gas, and then do it again and take my foot off the gas.”
As a resident of Las Vegas, one of his favorite pastimes is sitting down to a game of Blackjack in the casinos — when he can convince himself to get off the couch.
“It’s funny, I was off last night and I didn’t have the kids, and I thought to myself, ‘Hey, why don’t you hop in the car and go play some Blackjack?’ So instead, I laid on the couch and went to sleep. Sometimes it’s more fun. … I like math, and (Blackjack is) a fun game because there’s math involved, and occasionally I get fortunate and could end up on the plus side of things, but I’m careful. I don’t risk my mortgage on it, but it’s a fun activity every now and then.”
When asked who his biggest comedic influences are, he mentioned Jerry Seinfeld, whose internet show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” Regan was on in 2012 during its first season.
“I like his stand-up a lot; he has taken stand-up comedy to an art form, and the way he gets mileage out of everyday topics is very intriguing to me. But there are different comedians doing different things, and I like a woman named Maria Bamford who does these quirky characters. … She says something about herself through her delivery of these characters, and it’s very interesting. I like Chris Rock for how in-your-face he is and with his observations, and there’s a woman named Carol Leifer who doesn’t do as much stand-up as she used to, but she’s the person that Elaine was modeled after on the “Seinfeld” show. She’s very funny. Bill Burr, I’ve watched him do an hour, and I was like amazed.”
Anyone who listens to podcasts can hear his appearances on shows including comedian Marc Maron’s “WTF with Marc Maron” and Bill Burr’s “Monday Morning Podcast,” among others. Regan says he enjoys the growing trend of promoting via podcasts rather than on traditional morning radio.
“One thing I do like about podcasts, especially when comedians are at the helm, is that it’s a different animal than morning radio. I used to have to do morning radio throughout the country to promote our shows, and it always felt like a square peg in a round circle, like they want the funny too quickly and too much, and it didn’t feel natural. … The thing I like about podcasts is that there’s more ebb and flow. You can be serious and then you can be funny and you can be poignant and you can be outrageous … whereas morning radio seemed to be more ‘let’s just hit the funny,’ and it seemed a little unnatural.”
Despite Regan’s growing fame and fan base, he maintains a humble attitude about it all.
“There’s the the comedy part of the equation, and then there’s the popularity part of the equation, and I’m not that into the popularity side of it, but to me it’s like, I just want to do what I think is funny — and if there are people out there who happen to be into it, great. And if that’s a sizable amount of people, that’s even better, but I’m not doing it for that reason. I’m just fortunate that there seems to be enough people that seem to like it. … I’m very lucky.”
Friday, Aug. 25