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Brian Regan

  • Orpheum 216 State Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

My first memory of ever entering a comedy club was when my mom took me and my brother to see Brian Regan at the Comedy Zone in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was certainly not old enough to drive at the time, much less legally fulfill the club's strict two-drink minimum, but my mom was such a fan of Regan's 1997 debut album, simply titled Live, that she absolutely had to bring us along. But Regan is indeed kind the sort of comic you can bring their kids to see. He's notable for avoiding profanity and explicit talk of sex, but still manages to wring an unexpected amount of sometimes surreal material out of the most humdrum of experiences. He plays the lovable goofball, contorting his face into various expressions that suggest profound ignorance while leading the audience in a masterclass of timing, delivery, and tone. There's a reason that Regan appeared on Letterman well over two dozen times, and was brought back specifically as part of the late night host's set of big farewell shows in 2015. Regan's most recent special, Nunchucks And Flamethrowers, which premiered on Netflix earlier this month, dabbles with a bit more political humor than he's known for. That makes the special a bit of a mixed bag, but even so, each bit is stamped with his distinctively silly innocence. —Chris Lay