TVGuide.com: You've been doing stand-up for 25 years. With the Comedy Central deal, is Brian Regan's career peaking, or is this only the beginning?
[Laughs] I'm going to go on the optimistic side and say it's only the beginning. When the Comedy Central thing came through, I must say I was pretty excited. Like you said, I've been doing stand-up for quite a while and for the most part I've built this gradual following, but I never really felt like I had "heat" with the powers-that-be. I kind of felt like the kid in junior high who never got picked for the basketball team. So it was pretty nice to finally get picked.
TVGuide.com: How did you go about deciding what material would be part of Standing Up?
Well, I've always been careful not to double up on material that's been on other things. I had a CD that came out in '97 and I had a DVD called I Walked on the Moon that came out a few years ago, and I made sure those had different material on them. I also did a half-hour special on Comedy Central. I wanted to make sure none of that was on Standing Up.
TVGuide.com: That's a lot of material to turn your back on.
I pride myself on that. If there are people out there who like my comedy and have watched or listened to my stuff before, I want them to say, "Man, all this is new!" So it's a challenge. But next year I have to do another special for Comedy Central, so maybe by that time I'll be like, "You know what? It's time for a greatest hits."
TVGuide.com: I Walked on the Moon was shot in Irvine, as was Standing Up. Why is your humor a good fit for Orange County?
My CD was recorded in Irvine, too! It's weird. I guess it's just because of its proximity to Los Angeles, so it's easy to get a crew there. When my manager said that he wanted to shoot Standing Up in Irvine, I mentioned that we'd done the previous stuff there. I was like, "Isn't this going to look weird? People are going to think that I only have fans in Irvine, California."
TVGuide.com: When I was doing research for this interview, I admit I thought to myself, "Wow, people in Irvine really get Brian Regan."
Yeah. If they ever poll the citizens of Irvine on their favorite comedians, I'll be towards the top of the list. In any other town, they probably have no idea who I am.
TVGuide.com: So are you planning to shoot the next special there as well?
Of course. I can't insult the good people of Irvine.
TVGuide.com: Understandable. Your material is pretty much free of profanity. Don't you ever feel like dropping an F-bomb in there?
No, I just tend to think that way. It was never a conscious choice. When I started, my act was 90 percent clean anyway, because I happen to think about everyday things. Every once in a while I'd do a show that was completely clean, because I never got around to doing the dirty jokes. Soon I realized I was getting pretty cool comments from people after shows. They'd come up and say not only, "Hey, we liked your show," but, "Hey, we liked your show and we liked the fact it was clean." After a while, I thought there might be something to that.
TVGuide.com: Isn't that a challenge?
You can get a lot of mileage throwing F-bombs out there and talking about sexual topics. I'm not opposed to comedy like that, and I happen to think a lot of blue comedians are fantastic. But I've found for me that it actually opens me up to a wide variety of language choices. It's fun to pick peculiar words, rather than trying to hit that target with the F-word over and over again.
TVGuide.com: What's the series you're developing for Comedy Central going to be about?
Don't know yet. I do have some ideas, but I'd like to keep them close to my vest. In a general sense, I would not want to do a traditional sitcom. I'll probably want to do something more sketch-oriented. I'll probably use some of my material, but most of it I'm hoping will be stuff I come up with for the show, kind of like Seinfeld.
TVGuide.com: Jerry teamed with Larry David for Seinfeld; who would you bring in for your show?
I'd want my brother Dennis Regan. He wrote for the King of Queens for the last four years, and now that they're done I'd definitely want to bring him on board. Dennis is a great writer. Plus, if somebody's going to take your money, it might as well be family.
TVGuide.com: You're about to do a Comedy Central-backed tour as well. How do you go about preparing to hit the road?
Well, I've been touring for a while, so I'm pretty comfortable with it. I don't want to diminish it, because I'm thrilled Comedy Central wants to be involved, but in terms of the stand-up, I'll just prepare the way I always do: I'll drink a bottle of liquor and have somebody check to make sure my zipper is up.
TVGuide.com: That's all it takes?
Sure. I might be a little nervous, because I'm not performing in Irvine, but other than that I'm ready to hit the stage.
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