Brian Regan to Bring Observational & Expressive Comedy to Amp

When Brian Regan does stand-up, he thinks it’s important to feel “natural” and “as in-the-moment as possible.” NPR described him as having an almost “Chaplinesque flair” — he’s animated, using facial gestures like furrowing his eyebrows during routines, and putting “his entire body into his act.”

And he’s talented at his craft. Comedian Bill Burr once noted, “(Regan) basically goes out and, for 90 straight minutes, it sounds like a jet is landing, how hard this guy kills.”

Chautauquans can expect Regan to “kill it” at 8:15 p.m. tonight, August 9, in the Amphitheater, along with Steven Rogers as his opening act. Based in New York City, Rogers made his national television debut earlier this year on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and has performed at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown.

Regan is a diligent comedian, known in his early career for showing up to performances with twice the amount of content necessary for a single show. He appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” 27 times, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and was called “your favorite comedian’s comedian” by Entertainment Weekly in 2015.

Regan applies his expressive style to comedy bits based on daily situations.

“I’m not the funny guy at the party,” Regan told Rodney Ho for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I observe things, things I can talk about later.”

He often ventures back to childhood experiences — in “Stupid in School” for example, he jokes about waking up and realizing he never completed a science project, one he was supposed to be working on for nine months. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

“I just tend to talk about things that we all relate to in a broad way,” Regan told Ho. “I never rode in on a big white horse and see myself as a nobler version of the craft. I like to talk about doughnuts. I like to talk about buying a refrigerator. I enjoy seeing what mileage I can get out of that.”

But perhaps the most infamous aspect of his quotidian material is its “cleanliness.” He refrains from the heavy use of profanity common in acts by Lewis Black, Kevin Hart and other contemporaries, a comedic trait that’s hard to come by in the present day, according to Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president of performing and visual arts.

“So many popular comedians now tend to be rated R or at least PG-13,” Moore said. “And we’ve been wanting to have Brian Regan for quite a while, because he’s family-friendly, he’s very funny and we felt that he was just a gracious comedian.”

Moore described Regan as intergenerational, and noted the level of skill it requires to be a clean comic.

“It’s pretty easy to try and shock people when you’re a comedian, either with your language or content,” Moore said. “And I just really appreciate that Brian Regan has been able to stay current and relevant, but also fun, and (someone) many generations can enjoy.”
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The author Matthew Steinberg

Matthew Steinberg is a rising senior at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, studying communication arts, journalism, and Spanish. He will be copy editing for the Daily this summer, and in his free time enjoys spending way too much money at TJ Maxx, longboarding on roads that he shouldn’t and ranting about politics.