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Review: Brian Regan at Stambaugh Auditorium

January 20, 2013 - Andy Gray
YOUNGSTOWN -- Comedians who seize on controversial, hot-button issues get the most attention, the most buzz.

But what gets the average person more worked up: global warming or that guy driving below the speed limit in the “passing” lane?

Brian Regan understands what makes people tick and what gets them worked up, and he mined those observations for loud, steady laughs from a large appreciative crowd Sunday at Stambaugh Auditorium.

Regan riffs on the topics that folks gripe about with their friends – getting old, inconsiderate people – only his thoughts on those topics are funnier than your friends are, and he delivers them with a physicality that adds to their comedic effect.

A routine about how someone transitions from standing alongside the dance floor to full-fledged dancing was a great example of body movement, vocal inflection and volume all being used to make a good idea great.

Another entertaining segment had Regan talking about taking his family to an amusement park and dealing with other families trying to cut in line. Regan said he wanted to grab the father’s wallet out of his cargo shorts and throw it as far as he could and swing the wife’s purse into a potted plant. When they’d ask what he was doing, Regan said he would answer, “I thought you wanted completed anarchy when you threw all semblance of right and wrong out the window.”

A couple of Regan’s bits felt like they still were being developed. One of the best ideas in his hour-long main set was the thought that everyone should get “one free kill” without punishment. He doesn’t want to see anyone die; he just wants to see how people would treat each other if the possibility existed.

It’s a smart concept with a lot of potential for an extended riff, but Regan hit it for a couple of quick punchlines and moved on to the next.

In an interview a couple weeks ago, Regan said he was thinking about putting together his next comedy special or DVD. Based on Sunday’s set, he has plenty of quality material for it.

One last thing: Regan is known for his family-friendly material, and Sunday’s performance was no exception. But here’s a little advice to whoever brought a crying baby to Stambaugh Auditorium – if the children aren’t old enough to spell the name of the comedian on stage, they have no business being there.


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