Brian Regan’s live stand-up performance Saturday night was a big hit to the 6,000 audience members inside Radio City Music Hall, and seemed to work out well, too, for the folks at Comedy Central, who’d never produced a live stand-up special before.
Sure, the cable network has gone live every four years recently for Election Night coverage on The Daily Show, and added live segments for fund-raising in the biennial Night of Too Many Stars, but this special with Regan was special indeed. Ray Romano, who shares the same manager as Regan, showed up to watch and share congratulations afterward, as did Todd Barry and several other comedians — while others who couldn’t be there, such as Patton Oswalt, plugged the special with highest praise last week leading up to the event. Who is your favorite comedian? Oswalt asked last week. “Whoever tops your list, I GUARANTEE YOU they will be watching — or will watch, the next morning, or first thing late Saturday night when they get back from wherever they’re performing — Brian Regan’s special. He is our never-fail ideal of what a stand-up performer can be. I have never — EVER — met another stand-up that doesn’t do a low whistle of awe and respect (and envy) whenever his name comes up.”
Regan said he hadn’t released a stand-up special in five years, so even he was interested to see what mix of old and new material from his relentless touring schedule of theaters would make the cut for this hour. Which was 57 minutes with a three-minute “halftime” commercial break. But live onstage, Regan took only a few seconds to take a drink of water and gather himself while the cameras reset before launching into the second half of his hour (which meant, technically, you TV watchers lagged three minutes behind for the remainder). Not that anyone had to worry about broadcasting Regan on live TV. His material has remained bleep-free for decades. Elevator rides, shopping, juicing,
Among the highlights were these topical nuggets and timeless phrases that may work in or out of context, but especially yes if you’re like Regan was early in the hour when he stopped to say, “Thank you. I’m just going to do set-ups the whole show!”
- “New York City. It’s the only city in the world where people say, ‘Please tell me the Pope is gone!'”
- “…I don’t think I want his doctor paws on me.”
- “He is unaware of his unihair.”
- “I lost 10 pounds for this thing, and then yesterday they told me television adds 10 pounds. So basically, I just wasted my time for a couple of months.”
- “I’m always inverting my jots.”
- “When it comes to lamb, leg gets front-loaded for some reason.”
- “Why is the Catch of the Day always fish? Don’t they have to catch all the animals?”
- “I’m not good at talking to people, which might sound weird in this setting. I can handle this for some reason. But parties aren’t set up like this! I don’t show up at parties and people go, ‘Alright, we’ll all get over here, and you get over there.’ Parties, people are all around you.”
- “We couldn’t agree on the definition of ‘this exit’ and ‘next exit.'”
- “Would you consider this a must-win game?”
- “I’d like to own a second NBA team in Miami, Florida.”
- “I like the women of The View. I just want to hear them one at a time. It’s hard to pierce through the cacophony.”
And that was just from the first half-hour! But really, did any of these jokes need profanities?
In case you missed it, you can watch Brian Regan LIVE from Radio City Music Hall online via Comedy Central.