Whether it's jokes about the hassle of going to the eye doctor or how ridiculous serving sizes are, Brian Regan has it covered. He'll bring his observational humor to the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre tomorrow night.
Times Leader: Quick, tell us a joke. Just kidding. Do people ask that of you often?
Brian Regan: The Tell me a joke thing used to happen to me a lot more than it does now. Maybe people have heard my act and think to themselves, Certainly, I don't want to hear anything more that this clown has to say. I often wonder if doctors are asked at cocktail parties, Operate on my spleen.
TL: The term clean has been affixed to you and your comedy, but you've said you don't categorize yourself as such. How would you categorize yourself?
BR: I always feel weird describing my comedy in any way. I'm not trying to be flippant with that answer, but it seems like each joke is kind of its own thing, and when you string them all together, it's a stand-up routine. But to describe the whole comedy perspective in a few words is challenging. I've always shied away from calling it clean because that description misses the point. I feel describing my comedy as clean is like describing Ansel Adams' body of photography as black and white.
TL: It seems every comedian gets heckled at some point. Can you recall one of the funniest times that's happened to you?
BR: Sometimes our guard, as comedians, can be up too high. I was having a good show once, when someone yelled, You just make a face, and it's funny! I took offense, retorting, I'd like to think this is more than just me making faces. He shouted, I meant that as a compliment! So, of course, I felt stupid, and then made a funny face.
TL: You've said you like to observe the way television preachers work. What have you learned from watching them?
BR: I like watching television preachers to analyze their techniques of commanding a stage. When I watch, I'm not interested in their content, just their style. The good ones are capable of bringing their audiences on intense emotional rides. I relate to that because, as a stand-up, I am also trying to take people on a ride too, so it's fun to watch how others pilot their people around.
TL: Did having children change your approach to comedy?
BR: I think all experiences change my approach to comedy. Comedy is a prism through which we view the world, and that world changes based on what's around us. Now there are children around me, so that influences how I think, what I care about. Not sure why, but I just gave you a thousand-word version of the answer yes.
TL: What's the best advice another comic, or even anyone in the industry, has given you?
BR: The recently deceased comedian John Fox once told me, Don't take a sip of water unless they're laughing. That sounds trite, but when you really think about it, in a metaphorical way, it applies to many things in life.
What: Brian Regan
When: Doors at 7 tomorrow night, show at 8
Where: F.M. Kirby Center, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
More info: 826-1100