Interview: Comedian Brian Regan hears crickets

Embarrassment of riches
By DANIEL MCCARTHY  |  September 25, 2012


For seasoned stand-up and cult favorite comic goofball Brian Regan, life's embarrassments are inseparable from his routines. The strategy: throw it all out there. His act's part observational humor, part sneakily witty bon-mots, resulting in oft-quoted bits that have made him one of the most respected stand ups still selling out crowds two decades into his career. He's bringing new material (and his old sense of self-loathing) to the Wilbur for four shows September 28 and 29.

I was watching some old footage of you from the mid-90s, but you had a little bit of a mullet going. Are you proud or ashamed of those days? I wish I would've known that it was called a mullet. It would've been much easier to tell barbers what I wanted. Years later when people would go, "Yeah, we started watching you back when you had a mullet," I'm like: "Oh, they named it after the fact!"

I saw you did an episode of Seinfeld's new online series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." Yeah, he asked if I would do one of those with him, and I was honored, and I said, "Of course." If Jerry Seinfeld calls and asks you if you want to do something, your response is always "Yes."

It'd be funny if you said, "Nah, I'm fine."

Yeah, "Nah, I'm good. I'm good, Jerry Seinfeld."

What kind of car was involved? Well, he tries to pick a car that has to do with that comedian, and I had to tell him, "I don't know anything about cars, I don't even know a car to ask you to get." And he's like, "C'mon man, everybody likes cars," and I said, "I don't know anything about cars!"

What kind of car would be the "Brian Regan of cars?" I don't know. I remember I was filling up this SUV I had, and this guy on the other side of the gas aisle says, "Hey man, I've been thinkin' of getting one of those. How much does that thing get to the gallon?" So I said, "I would guess about 25 miles a gallon?" And the guy goes, "THAT CAR GETS 25 MILES A GALLON!?" Backpedalling I say, "Well, you know, give or take." And the guy just starts going, "My God!" I ended up filling up and leaving. I was worried the guy was going to go out and buy one. Maybe it gets eight miles a gallon. I have no clue. I should've given him the honest answer: "I don't know anything about anything."

Every comic seems to have a story about the worst time they died out on stage. Do you? I was doing a gig up in the Northwest — some island off the Pacific Northwest — a big rustic hotel kind of deal, corporate show. [I'm] on stage, no laughs, and a window was open near the stage. I finish a joke, no laughs, and from outside I hear a cricket.

I don't know if it gets any lower than that. There's nothing beneath it. I actually heard crickets on stage.

When you are in Boston, do you have any favorite spots to hit for a pint? I love Boston. But no. I'm somebody who embarrassingly doesn't do a whole lot. When I'm flying to a city and look down I go, "Man, look at the history and look at the activities that I can get involved with!" And then I land, go to the hotel, and bury my head in a pillow. So I can say this — Boston has some incredible pillows!

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