Brian Regan doesn’t like to talk about what he’ll talk about on stage.
“The subject matter is never sexy,” Regan said during a telephone interview from his home in Las Vegas. “I talk about the most everyday things and find interesting things within those subjects.”
He said he recently saw a preview story about an upcoming gig that said something like, “Regan, who does jokes about doctor visits, airline travel and food …”
“Wow, I can’t imagine anyone reading that and saying, ‘Honey, we have got to buy tickets for that’,” Regan said. “I guess it seems kind of bland, but I try to make it less bland.”
Bland has been good for Regan. The list of comedians who can fill theaters nationwide is a select group – Jerry Seinfeld, Lewis Black, Chris Rock, Jim Gaffigan, Wanda Sykes, a few others.
Regan is one of them.
He’s never had a hit sitcom or a regular television gig to help propel his name recognition like his friend Jerry Seinfeld (check out the episode of Seinfeld’s web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which is linked on Regan’s website, brianregan.com). But like Seinfeld, Regan is respected for his unique observational material that is family friendly and delivered in an energetic, physical style.
Regan, who played Stambaugh Auditorium in 2010, returns to the theater for a 7 p.m. show Sunday.
Regan said he feels at home performing in Ohio. He grew up in Miami, Fla., but he went to Heidelberg College in Tiffin because that’s where some of his high school football coaches went, and he was able to get a decent financial aid package.
“I remember going to some sort of Army-Navy store and bought a winter jacket that would have been too warm for someone working on the Alaska Pipeline,” he said. “It came down below my knees, fur around the face. It was unbelievably unnecessary. And I had nothing in between. It was short-sleeved shirts and that.”
Regan played wide receiver at Heidelberg College, but he wasn’t nicknamed “Rip” because of his speed running pass routes. The picked up the moniker because he liked to sleep, as in “Rip Van Winkle.” In his conversation with Seinfeld on “Comedians in Cars …,” Regan said one of the things that appealed to him about being a standup comedian was not having to work before 8 p.m.
When Regan played Stambaugh in 2010, he was getting ready to release a comedy album, “All by Myself.” He was happy with how the record turned out, but he said he probably will go back to doing a DVD or television comedy special with his next project. His last two specials, “Standing Up” and “Epitome of Hyperbole,” got extensive airplay on Comedy Central.
Comedians never have had more ways to stay connected with their audience than they do today. Regan has his own website and can be found on Facebook and Twitter, but don’t expect daily updates, photos of his lunch and an endless stream of jokes.
“You have to keep up with the Joneses in a technological way, but I’m not on the cutting edge of these things. I’m always lagging behind. Five years ago, the people who did my webpage sat me down and explained that the world is changing and you have to do these things.
“I like to think I’m wise enough to change but … I like there to be a certain amount of mystery. I have my comedy life, and I also have my personal life. I have two kids. When I’m off, I like to take my comedy hat off and go to the park with my kids and not feel I have to stay connected. I like to disconnect and just be daddy.”
And for a comedian who tells stories and uses his whole body when he tells them, a 140-character limit doesn’t lend itself to his talents.
“I’m still trying to negotiate the Twitter world,” he said. “I’m not a one-liner kind of comedian … At the same time, I’m proud to have a number of followers, so I try to throw something out now and then. I’m trying to get better at it, get some content out there. But one thing I love about comedy is the hours. I don’t want to increase my workload.”