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Performing Arts

Comedian Brian Regan is going to crack up Durango

Comedian Brian Regan will perform Wednesday at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. (Courtesy)
‘If people like music and people like dancing, people like comedy, come on out because I’m doing one-third of that’

Comedian Brian Regan has some advice for those just starting out in comedy.

“Surf where there’s waves,” he said ahead of his appearance Wednesday night at the Community Concert hall at Fort Lewis College.

“I always say try to make yourself laugh. When you’re on stage, you can go in the wrong direction if you’re trying to figure out what other people laugh at. You should be on stage saying what you would laugh at; pretend you’re sitting out in the audience and make yourself laugh. And then if there are people out there who agree with you, that’s great. But if you’re up there just trying to figure out what other people laugh at, to me that’s kind of boring. It’s more interesting to listen to stuff that comes from inside people.”

And if your set starts feeling like it may be going off the rails, remember that nothing is perfect – if it was, there’d be no challenge.

“That’s one of the things that’s fun about standup comedy, it’s probably (what’s) fun about everything; nothing is perfect,” Regan said. “I’m going to use a metaphor: Every once in a while you’re out there on your surfboard looking back and no waves are coming, so you can’t surf if there’re no waves. You just try to be in the moment, you might make light of the fact that it’s not going great, but you don’t want to go too far in that direction, either because then your audience will lose faith in you if they feel like you don’t have faith in yourself. So, sometimes you’ve got to just bite the bullet and do as best you can with what you have.”

If you go

WHAT: Comedian Brian Regan.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

WHERE: Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

TICKETS: $40.50-$60. Available online at https://bit.ly/3KbRiws.

MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.durangoconcerts.com.

Regan, who is originally from Miami and is now based in Las Vegas, started doing comedy out of college and has been performing for more than 30 years: “My whole adult life. I started right out of college and I’m 145 years old … so, you now, that’s a long, long time. That’s a lot of decades.”

The latest of Regan’s eight standup specials, “Brian Regan: On The Rocks” (2021), is currently streaming on Netflix. His 2017 Netflix special, “Brian Regan: Nunchucks and Flamethrowers,” is also streaming and is available as a vinyl album, according to a news release, which added that he’s also a regular on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” where he’s “the rare guest who the show invites on for two segments: a performance segment and a segment on the couch to chat with Jimmy.” He’s also in Chris Rock’s film, “Top Five,” and he Regan’s been a guest on two episodes of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

When he speaks of influences, he lists off some of the big guns, but he said he is careful to maintain his own identity as a comedian and not try to riff off what others have done before him.

“There are a lot of comedians out there who are great at what they do – I’ve always been a big Jerry Seinfeld fan, you can go back in time to the big names: George Carlin, Richard Pryor. I like Jonathan Winters a lot, I like Johnny Carson – a lot of comedians out there doing good things,” he said. “But you’ve got to be careful to not pattern yourself after somebody, you might like what they do, but you always try to carve your own unique path in this business. I think if you just stay true to yourself, make sure that you’re sharing how you feel as an individual on stage, it usually works out pretty good.”

As for what Regan brings to the stage, he said while are some things he won’t joke about, there’s not much he considers off-limits – especially when it comes to poking fun of himself.

“I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. I wouldn’t talk about how someone looks or something like that. I wouldn’t make fun of someone,” he said. “I think behavior is fair game; I wouldn’t mind going after somebody about their behavior. Mostly, I talk about myself – I like to be self-effacing when I’m on stage. But in terms of topics, I think ultimately all topics are fair game, it just depends on how you approach them. As long as you have some moral compass inside of you and you’re just trying to make people laugh by pointing out certain things, then I think everything is available to be talked about.”

As for the kind of show we can expect next week, it sounds like it’s going to be a doozy.

“If people like music and people like dancing, people like comedy, come on out because I’m doing one-third of that,” he said.


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