Whether it’s Miley Cyrus twerking all over Robin Thicke’s crotch or your run of the mill comedian swearing on stage just to stir up the pot, a lot of the time, being provocative or “dirty” equals big bucks.
However, for Brian Regan, who is performing at the Wilbur this weekend, the veteran comic opts for carefully crafted jokes rather than expletive filled diatribes. Taking a much different route than others in the entertainment industry, Regan has, for better or worse, earned the reputation of being a “clean” comedian.
While he may not curse during his sets, being “clean” isn’t the only thing that defines his style of comedy.
“I feel like that label, the clean label, is insufficient in describing what I do,” Regan recently told Boston.com. “If some Joe blow who’s never seen me just hears ‘clean comedy,’ they might shrug and go, ‘that might not be something I’m interested in.’ That same person, if they just happen to come to my show, might laugh it up and have a good time and not even think about whether or not it’s clean.”
For the seasoned comedian, being “clean” or “dirty” has little to do with whether a joke is good or not. The point, for Regan, is to just be funny.
“Not that I’m trying to compare myself to the Beatles, but the Beatles music is clean,” Regan said. “But to describe the Beatles as, ‘you got to listen to the Beatles, they’re clean,’ somebody would go, ‘Well what does that have to do with anything?’”
“Sometimes I feel that way about my comedy. It’s like, okay, it happens to be clean, but that’s not the point of it.”
Regan may not be a fan of this label, but he isn’t worried with how other comedians or even audience members perceive his reputation. The veteran comic is just trying to please one person: himself.
“I try to be careful not to try to figure out what either the audience is looking for or what other comedians are looking for,” Regan said. “I want to do what I think is funny and let the chips fall where they may.”
Luckily for the longtime comic, what appeals to his sense of humor also happens to make thousands of other people laugh. And for a person who makes a living making people chuckle, there isn’t a better feeling in the world.
“A laugh to me is one of the few things I can trust in life. People will fake applaud and fake all kinds of other stuff, but they don’t fake laugh,” Regan said. “If you get a whole room full of people going, then you’re making a connection. You’re communicating. And it feels good to communicate, and it feels good to have your message received.”
“It’s a powerful experience,” Regan said. “It’s fun to laugh and it’s fun to make people laugh. I absolutely love it.”Matt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter@MattchidaMMA.