By Sean C. Porter
Brian Regan is not your typical comedian.
He works a clean act, and his sense of observational humor sets him apart from any other comedian I’ve heard. You can see him live, as he’ll be performing in Fort Myers on July 26.
I have been a fan of Regan since 2005, when my parents first got his comedy CD from the library, which is an odd sentence to type in 2019.
I was 8 years old when we popped the CD in for a trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa, and we laughed the whole way there. There’s a fine line of humor for both kids and adults, but Brian Regan walks that line with confidence.
Whether it be a joke about playing Little League baseball or about the questionable packaging on Pop-Tarts, Regan’s observational humor is wildly entertaining, and it stands the test of time.
“Every once in a while when I’m in a grocery store, I’ll check to make sure the packaging still says 3 seconds to microwave,” Regan joked. “If it changes, I’ll probably have to throw the whole routine away.”
Regan’s jokes about Little League put me back to when I played baseball. At the time, I didn’t know I was bad, but when Regan said he was so bad his coaches put him in right field, it made me think.
I played right field.
Regan’s comedy has developed over his 30-plus years on the stage. From doing small sets in bars to performing at Radio City Music Hall in 2015, his career has taken off.
If there’s one thing that points to his initial rise, it was his comedy CDs.
Comedy CDs were popular with comedians such as Cheech and Chong, Richard Pryor and Steve Martin to name a few, but their popularity dipped when people could just watch comedy sets on DVD.
“When the album came out, it was very intriguing to me when people starting coming to shows and were holding my CD,” Regan said. “They were saying that’s how they found out about me. So I was like, ‘man, this is some magical stuff, here.’”
His first CD, “Brian Regan Live,” was released in 1997, and his first DVD, “I walked on the moon,” came out seven years later in 2004.
In a lot of ways, Regan is similar to a lot of older comedians who point to audio recordings as their means for success. But in as many ways, Regan is his own breed.
And in the past few years, Regan has had to adjust to a new audience. With a rise of people joining streaming services, it only made sense that he made a bigger effort to be on them.
Regan appeared as a guest on the popular show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” with Jerry Seinfeld, and inked a deal with Netflix to create two standup specials.
He also created a Netflix original series, “Standup and Away! With Brian Regan,” a hybrid show that combines sketches and stage comedy.
Regan’s comedy has taken him to faraway places, such as Fort Myers, where he’ll be at 8 p.m. July 26. He’ll be performing at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 13350 FSW Parkway, Fort Myers.