Last night, the journeyman comedian Brian Regan, active now for 30 years, drew whooping, clapping and cheers alike as he showed his observational style of humor through well-timed, relatable jokes in McCain Auditorium. His jokes included dealing with hostile and unhelpful hotel receptionists, trying to remember a casual friend’s name during conversation and eating one too many donuts.
Regan’s performance was thoroughly sought after throughout campus. Well advertised since before the beginning of the fall semester, his appearance at K-State was rewarded with an auditorium full of fans eagerly awaiting his show.
“I’m a huge fan of Brian Regan, I’ve been following him since I was in fourth grade,” Alex Beahm, sophomore in computer science, said. “I heard about him performing on campus and told myself ‘I have to be there.'”
Regan’s appearance even brought in fans from beyond Manhattan. Mickey Haynos, freshman in nursing, drove in from Highland Community College in Highland, Kan. to watch the show. She said that she felt like it was a good time to come and see him perform.
“It’s pretty rare to see [Regan] come to college campuses,” Haynos said.
Opening for Regan was a comedian named Gary Brightwell, a native of southern California who has appeared on Comedy Central and has his own Sirius XM radio show. Brightwell had much to say about the cold weather in Kansas, as well as the debate between real and fake Christmas trees and the too small of serving sizes that one gets for snacks when taking a flight.
Brightwell was energetic, constantly moving around the stage and he ended his bit with a lively joke about why judges ruin women’s figure skating and gymnastics during the Olympics. He left to a hearty round of applause from the audience.
Following Brightwell’s exit, Regan sauntered out onstage to a warm welcome from the audience. He waved hello, gave a quick greeting, acknowledged Veteran’s day and then began his evening by lightheartedly poking jokes at his family life and those people who send holiday cards way too early every year.
Regan, known for his clean comedy in which he generally tries to avoid gratuitously raunchy and inappropriate material, delivered many of his jokes as responses to some of the simply strange and hilarious situations that people go through every day. Two such jokes centered around the awkwardness of asking someone out on a date, as well as the cashiers who always try to get someone to sign up for a rewards card at the grocery store.
“I’m interested in talking about everyday things,” Regan said in a phone interview. “I read, go to the doctor, eat sandwiches,
travel, fly on airplanes. The original inspiration for my jokes is always external.“
A highlight of the event was that, for those avid fans, Regan introduced new content in his performance. In fact much of his bit consisted of new jokes.
“The newer joke, the more exciting for me because I don’t know where the laughs are,” Regan said. “I’m always most interested with the newer things that I’m tinkering with.”
For Beahm, who is familiar with much of Regan’s work, the new content came as a very pleasant surprise.
“I [was] looking forward to new material,” Beahm said.
For about an hour and a half, Regan was in charge on stage, thoroughly living up to his comedic reputation. After leaving the stage for the first time, he returned for a brief encore, during which he performed some of the jokes from “Brian Regan Live,” his 1997 debut CD. His night ended with loud, passionate applause from the audience and, as the curtains drew, fans said they left feeling content from a night’s worth of good humor.
“I couldn’t wait to see what he [would] knock my socks off with this time,” Beahm said.