Compliments from one stand-up comic to another occur about as often as conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly gives props to the Democratic Party.
Comics are stereotypically a selfish and egocentric lot. But while relaxing last month backstage before a show in Atlantic City, Dennis Miller offered praise for fellow humorist Brian Regan.
“Don’t you think that Brian Regan is the best comic around today?” Miller said a few minutes before taking the stage. “He is incredibly funny. He’s a guy you should check out if you haven’t seen him.”
More and more comedy aficionados have seen Regan, who will perform Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre. The appeal is evident.
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The married father of two children delivers relatable material that is consistently funny — but without obscenity.
“Working clean works for me,” Regan said. “It helps because I can do my comedy anywhere. I can do what I do at shows on the road as well as network television. I remember early in my career there was a comic who got the call to be on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Johnny Carson. He had to change language to do the jokes clean on Carson. I remember during the taping he was thrown since he didn’t get the big laugh that he was used to getting because of the change in language. I never wanted that to happen to me. So I traveled a different route. But I’m not going to get up on a high horse about what I do. There are comics that are dirty that I find hilarious. What I do isn’t loftier than what they do. It’s all about getting laughs. I just enjoy making people laugh. But what I particularly enjoy is getting people to laugh without using certain words.”
Like many other comics, Regan almost went with another career.
“I thought I was going to become an accountant,” Regan said. “My father was an accountant, and that’s what I was going to do. But I figured out in college that I wasn’t cut out to be an accountant. When I studied it, I quickly fell behind. Once you fall behind in accounting, you’re in trouble.”
Regan has always been ahead of the game when it comes to stand-up.
“It was just a natural thing for me,” Regan said. “This is what I was meant to do. It’s just the biggest blast to go up onstage and make people laugh and get paid for it.”