7:30 p.m. Thursday
Rose State College
Performing Arts Theater
6420 S.E. 15th, Midwest City
When Brian Regan found that people knew him as the stand-up comedian who always hunched over and paced around the stage, he decided to stand up straight. When he heard that people knew him as the comedian who always talked about his childhood, he grew up.
“I never wanted somebody just to be able to hang their hat on one thing about me and say, ‘Oh, he’s the comedian that does this,'” Regan said from his Las Vegas home. “I don’t want to be a one-trick pony.”
As he has grown up and passed 50, his comedy keeps pace, with an occasional nod to the past. Jokes about Little League and being an awkward adolescent have been replaced by bits about signing a mortgage, finding hair in unusual places and soreness of the hip. But he consistently gets mileage from time-tested material that finds him having trouble navigating everything from spelling bees to text messages.
“I want to find comedy in mundane things,” he said. “To me, that’s what my quest is: to find humor in the most ordinary things that someone else would not look at twice.”
A trip to see the doctor turns inadvertently humorous as Regan tells how he was scolded because, although he is on the cholesterol-lowering medication Lipitor, the doc told him that does not give him permission to eat copious amounts of junk food with impunity.
In a bit from his 2004 DVD, “I Walked on the Moon,” Regan recounted checking the label on a package of his favorite cookie, the Fig Newton, only to learn that a serving size was two cookies; he admitted to ravenously eating them “by the sleeve.”
As he gained widespread recognition and acclaim, and regularly appears on late-night talk shows, he has kept his act clean. While many comedians scream profanities to get big laughs, Regan talks about things like how the Spanish phrases kids learn in school are useless in the real world. Where others talk of bodily functions, Regan gets laughs from his observations on an airplane.
When looking for inspiration, he doesn’t look for someone to ridicule; he simply looks around. Instead of targeting a group, he pokes fun at the detailed instructions on Pop-Tarts packaging.
Regan played the metro area in 2007 and 2009. For this visit, he’ll lightly pepper some well-worn favorite bits throughout his act, but said he always strives to give audiences a fresh show.
“If you just keep doing older stuff, that is no longer really part of your world, it feels less fresh, and the audience can sense that,” he said. “You have to keep growing as a performer.”
But at the conclusion of his act, he always returns for an encore, where audience members are encouraged to shout requests or the punch lines of familiar material they would like to hear.
“Then I get to do some of the older stuff, which is fun for me,” he said. “Kelley Chambers