Philly, it’s time to laugh again

Comedian Brian Regan is all set to bring the funny to Helium Comedy Club this month

Brian Regan
Comedian Brian Regan will appear at Helium Comedy Club for multiple shows beginning Nov. 19-22. Image | Friedman Bergman

Critics, fans and fellow comedians agree: Brian Regan is one of the most respected comedians in the country, with Vanity Fair calling him “the funniest stand-up alive,” and Entertainment Weekly calling him “your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian.” 

Now you’ll have the chance to see for yourself, as Regan is scheduled to play the Helium Comedy Club Nov. 19-22. Visit heliumcomedy.com for details and tickets.

Regan’s Netflix series, “Stand Up And Away! With Brian Regan,” premiered last Christmas Eve. He and Jerry Seinfeld executive produced the four-episode original half-hour series that combines sketch comedy and stand-up. 

Regan also reprised his role of “Mugsy” in the third season of Peter Farrelly’s TV series, “Loudermilk, on The Audience Network. Farelly personally cast Regan in the series, which premiered in 2017 to rave reviews with Regan earning accolades for his portrayal of a recovering addict who is estranged from his family. Just where and when “Loudermilk” will resurface is still up in the air. 

A regular on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Regan is the rare guest whom the show invites on for two segments: a performance segment and a segment on the couch to chat with Jimmy. Previously, he was a regular guest on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” making 28 appearances on the CBS show.

He made a scene-stealing cameo in Chris Rock’s film, “Top Five,” and is a guest on two episodes of Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” on Netflix.

PW recently caught up with Regan to talk about comedy in 2020 and his upcoming show.

What topics are you covering on stage in 2020? Have you changed your routine in light of the pandemic, the political scene and the social unrest the nation has seen?

I just shot a Netflix special this past weekend, which should be out in the first quarter of ’21. Because of that, I plan to be in the process of purging that material, and replenishing with new. So, not sure what kind of stuff I will be kicking around in my head when I get to Philly. But I will most likely have at least 20 minutes on owls. (That is a joke.) 

You’ve been back on stage for a little while now. Are you getting a sense that people, after everything that’s gone on this year, are looking for an outlet or escape from all of the more serious issues of the day? Are they ready to laugh again?

I think a lot of people are anxious to get back to some sense of normalcy. I’ve been enjoying being back in the comedy clubs. The tables are far apart, and many people are wearing face masks, so it’s kind of strange. But, overall, it’s fun to be able to get a few laughs… especially with my owl jokes. (That is a joke.)

How did you spend your downtime during the pandemic?

I think I am doing what a lot of people are doing during the pandemic – backgammon, puzzles, wine, TV binge-watching, and sleeping. (I could be an Olympic sleeper.) 

Later this year, you will reprise his role of Mugsy in the third season of Peter Farrelly’s TV series, “Loudermilk, on The Audience Network. Did the pandemic impact production of the show?

Season 3 of “Loudermilk” was shot before the pandemic. So, it’s in the can and ready to go. The platform it was on – DirecTV’s Audience Network – is going away, so the show, including the yet-to-be-seen season 3, is being shopped around to new platforms. I hope it comes out soon because I was allowed to do some pretty cool stuff as an actor in Season 3.  

“I think a lot of people are anxious to get back to some sense of normalcy. I’ve been enjoying being back in the comedy clubs. The tables are far apart, and many people are wearing face masks, so it’s kind of strange. But, overall, it’s fun to be able to get a few laughs.”

– Comedian Brian Regan

Last year, you told NPR that, when you first began doing stand-up, you had some four-letter words in your act, but that it didn’t feel natural to you. In that same interview, Ray Romano said, “I just think the degree of difficulty is much harder for Brian and I just give him more credit for it.” Do you think it’s harder for comedians who work “clean” than those who work “dirty”?

I try not to feel there is a competition between “clean” comedians and “dirty” comedians.  In fact, I don’t even like to use the word “clean” to describe what I do because it tends to send out the wrong connotation in regards to my comedy. The Beatles were clean, but imagine if all their promos said, “Check out the clean Beatles!”   

In addition to live performances, which you have scheduled throughout 2021, what else are you working on? Will we see you in other series or for some guest appearances?

I had a standup/sketch hybrid show on Netflix called “StandUp and Away!” I am hoping to get that (or a similar) show on another network soon. It was fun doing sketches.  

What can your fans expect when you appear at Helium Nov. 19-22?

Owl jokes! 

  • Eugene Zenyatta was raised on old-time Memphis 'rasslin' and strongly prefers the company of dogs to people. His greatest heartbreak came in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.