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.
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.”