1 of 1
By Photo courtesy of Brian Regan
By MATT MUNOZ, Californian columnist
While most comedians enjoy getting their hands -- and mouths -- dirty, funnyman Brian Regan still prefers keeping it clean.
But it's proved to be a winning formula as Regan continues selling out venues across the nation with an act suited for any audience.
When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: Fox Theater, 2001 H St.
Admission: $37.50 plus service charge
Information: 324-1369 or vallitix.com
Out on the road with a new routine in the tradition of his everyman style, Regan returns to the Fox on Sunday.
"I found out, hey, you can make it as a stand-up without getting anything else," said Regan, 55, during a phone interview. "I am kind of enjoying that kind of aspect of life right now."
Regan attributes his success to a number of basics in life, one being honesty. The other: avoiding the allure of TV fame.
"Back in the day, it used to be that the sitcom was a kind of trophy for having a successful stand- up career or for having a unique perspective as a comedian. I got caught up in that for a while. There's nothing wrong with getting a sitcom; it's wonderful if you can get one. It used to be something you could hold up and say, 'Look, I must be pretty good. They gave me my own TV show.'"
Though he's avoided the sitcom route, Regan has enjoyed some TV success with four self-produced televised comedy stand-up specials, all of which made their way into rotation on Comedy Central. It's a marketing strategy that he says allows him the best of both worlds.
"I've produced CDs myself, which are available solely through the website. Once your production's costs are taken care of, the rest is all yours. The downside to that is that you're not necessarily bringing in any new fans. If you have a Comedy Central special, new eyeballs are going to see you. The plus side is that the artist is in control, but you always want new people to see your act."
Regan added while he's committed to keeping his act clean, he recently tested some new material targeting a number of current hot-button issues, including the most obvious: gun control.
"It's such a delicate subject and people are very passionate about it. There are some things I'm really passionate about, but when it comes to guns, people tend to yell their opinion about it.
"I don't feel that way about lunch. I love lunch. I have lunch every day, but when somebody says the word, 'lunch' I don't just scream loudly, no matter how I feel about lunch."
Regan recalled performing the gun skit in Texas, assuming a cyber backlash would ensue as it had for comedian Jim Carrey following the release of a video lampooning late actor Charlton Heston and NRA activists on the Funny or Die comedy website. While his take was nowhere near as extreme as Carrey's clip, Regan treaded with caution.
"I do like to put my big toe in the water every now and then. I don't want to be afraid. To be fair, I also have this bit where I try to see both sides. Personally, I don't understand the difference between an assault weapon and a non-assault weapon. When somebody explains it on TV, I'm even more confused. So I do this bit where I try to explain it as a big jumbled mess. So, if I can get out alive with doing gun jokes in Texas, then I'm doing OK."
Along with guns, Regan admits to confusion navigating his Twitter account, affirming his faith in sticking to comedy.
"My favorite Twitter response is from way back when I first set it up. I didn't know much about it and a guy wrote, '10,000 followers and 4 Tweets?,' that must be some kind of record.' Go figure."