As a college student at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, Brian Regan was planning on being an accountant after his college career.
He decided to switch his major to mass communications, and one of the first classes he took was a speech class. This is when Regan said he caught the bug.
“I always tried to make my speeches funny,” Regan said. “So, that’s when I thought that if I can make my classroom laugh, maybe I can make bigger rooms laugh.”
Regan is returning to Ohio on Sunday to perform at Stambaugh Auditorium. Regan has been steadily returning to Youngstown and said he enjoys performing.
“No one in Youngstown has ever been mean to me. So, as long as no one is mean to me, I’ll keep coming back,” Regan said.
Regan’s performance is about an hour long, and he often comes back for an encore. The first half of his performance will be new material.
“I like to walk on virgin snow and leave footprints,” Regan said. “I like to see what reactions the audience will have.”
He said if he does an encore, he will often bring out old materials or fan favorites.
“It’s still fun to dust off the older stuff. But, if I did it night after night, it would bore me,” Regan said.
A crowd favorite skit is where Regan talks about being “stupid in school.” He starts it off by bringing up spelling bees in school.
“All right, kids, line up against the wall. It’s time for public humiliation,” Regan begins the skit. He then says how he always admired the kid who purposely misspelled a word so he could sit down.
“First word, ‘cat.’ He’s like, ‘K-A-T. I’m out of here,’” Regan then drops the punch line. “Then, as he walks by he says, ‘Haha, I know there’s two t’s!’”
He said anyone wanting to break into show business should learn to take the good with the bad. When he started out, he had a slew of rough shows.
“[At] the club, when I started, I would go on at the end of the night after the headliner for five or 10 minutes. People would be leaving during my set, so I just made it a part of the show,” Regan said. “I got pretty good at self-deprecation that when they moved me up, I thought to myself, ‘No one is leaving! What do I do?’”
Regan has performed on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” Regan said that this was a career high for him.
“It was every comedians dream to be on ‘The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,’ and, for a while, there were rumors floating around about his retirement. So, I thought, ‘Well, that’s one dream that’s not coming true,’” Regan said.
Thankfully, he made an appearance on the show a year before Carson’s retirement.
The Miami native resides in Las Vegas. Regan performs around 100 shows a year, and dedicates the rest of his time to being a father.
He said he is looking forward to performing again in Youngstown.
“I hope people come out for a chuckle. Hopefully, I’ll be able to take them from a chuckle to full-on laughter,” Regan said.