Brian Regan: The Epitome Of Hyperbole
While not considered the oldest profession in the world one of the first may well be the stand up comedian. There was most likely a cave man somewhere that got up after a mastodon dinner around the fire and began telling jokes. Many of the most famous comedians in television and film today had their humble beginnings in this field. They all had pretty much the same roots; standing before some brick wall with a spot light on their face telling their jokes and stories to people in the dark audience. In an age long gone now many comedians released their acts on records; you know those vinyl discs about a foot in diameter that we used to play on primitive ‘record players’. That gave way to CDs and then cable specials on HBO or Comedy Central. Now we have a much fuller experience with DVD releases. One of the newest around is ‘Epitome of Hyperbole’ from Brian Regan. Here is a man of considerable comic talent. I have caught several of his specials on Comedy Central and always found myself laughing out loud. This new DVD is absolutely hysterical. It is also family friendly so you won’t have to worry about the kids walking in while you are watching it. In fact some of the older kids just might want to sit next to you and enjoy it as well. Like many of the stand up acts that appear on Comedy Central this DVD is released by parent company Paramount. With so much on television that is really inappropriate or just plain old boring it is great to have an alternative sitting right there on your DVD shelf.
Brian Regan is something that is becoming an endangered species in the world of comedy; a clean comedian. He doesn’t feel the need to have every other word out of his mouth on that list that is bleeped on the network censors. Instead his humor comes from a more gentle and familiar place. It is usually about those mundane things that we all encounter every day of our lives. He also has a tendency to tell stories of his childhood giving him a natural way to connect with his audience. At most times Regan is more like an old fashion story teller than a comedian. His humor does not consist of rapid fire quips and jokes but instead relies on telling the audience a tale that they can readily identify with. This gives the feel of the guy in school always at hand to make you laugh or the town story teller who can amuse the adults and children alike for hours with his humorous tales.
Regan takes the stage to the sound of cheers and applauds. He has a lot of energy some of which he burns off constantly moving back and forth across the stage. He begins with some thought he had while having breakfast. He was reading the paper and it said that an increasing number of adult Americans are still living with their parents. He found this so surprising that he immediate called out to his mother about it. This is indicative of Regan’s humor; it is based more on the situation and juxtaposition of circumstances that everybody has experienced. Regan has a rubber face that contorts to unbelievably funny configurations. He is also keen on self deprecating humor unafraid to use himself as the butt of his jokes. The reaction of the audience is noticeable; they instantly relate to the man. He tells the people attending that he hates reading the newspaper because it is hard and they never complete a story on the front page. You have to constantly find the remainder of the item buried somewhere within the paper. He never seems to be curious enough to actually seek the rest of the story.
Another tool in his bag of tricks is the way his voice is able to take on different personas. He can change it to make himself seem like the dumbest person in the room and then make it go into what would be heard from any guy you might meet on the street. It is this ability to change his entire demeanor to fit the tone of his current story that makes for a delightful time. He holds common place things up to his unique brand of ridicule. For example the phrase ‘one thing led to another’. We have all heard it and most of us have used it. To Regan this is laziness on the part of the writer. As a writer you should know the details and provide them; it is your job. For an example he takes the point to an extreme; ‘Hitler was rejected from art school and one thing led to another and the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.’ When he makes a statement like this you laugh because in some strange way you know that there is a grain of truth to it. He gets completely into the stories he tells. His voice, facial expressions and body language are all part of the tale. His act would not be the same on a CD since you would miss in animated antics. Regan is able too create a world of his own imagination and pull the audience gleefully into it.
He continues on with more things that we all have noticed to one degree or another. For example he talks about movie reviews. You know that the film stinks when they advertise using the most obscure publications possible; ‘terrific says the Hoboken Auto Trader’. This leads in to a discussion on how a successful movie now gets to become an amusement park ride. The connection is obvious; the ride was just like the movie except without the characters or storyline. He routine flows naturally from one topic to another. It is almost impossible to tell where one story ends and the next begins the transitions are so perfectly made. Regan can take a little premise like this and take it to lengths you don’t expect. From film oriented rides like Batman he imagines some freaky examples like ‘JFK the Ride’ as he pretends to sit there looking around. He grew up in Miami and studied Spanish but never found any use for the phrases they taught. He never heard the older Cuban men downtown playing dominos saying things like ‘there are many books in the library’ or ‘the tractor is red’.
Brain Regan is like a big goofy kid who never grew up. His humor is a wonderful and refreshing change from the adult only routines that have become all too common place in comedy specials. He has proven that you don’t have to work blue to be a success and should be recognized for such an accomplishment. You should support this man by getting this DVD. Not only will it send a message that we need family oriented comedy but it will be something that will entertain you and your family for a long time to come.