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Off guard

DeKALB – Brian Regan likes comedy – either his own or someone else’s – to be unpredictable, like a pitcher on a mound.

He said an all-star pitcher might throw a fastball, another fastball, and then something else to throw the batter off guard.

“I like anybody who’s doing something I can’t guess,” he said.

When he’s watching other comedians work, he likes when a joke or story takes a turn from what he thought the punchline was going to be. He appreciates when a comedian plays with his mind.

He approaches his own shows by making himself laugh. The stuff he likes is the stuff he can’t guess.

“I try to make me laugh,” he said. “I want other people to join in. To me, it’s a mistake to try to make the audience laugh. You’re just placating to them.”

Regan will bring his comedy to the Egyptian Theatre stage in DeKalb on Sunday, Jan. 26. The show will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $49.50 and are available online at or by calling 815-758-1215.

One of the elements of Regan’s comedy comes from his roots. He talks about his family and in his stories, they’re like characters he’s written.

“I like to have some jokes rooted in reality,” Regan said. “There’s a lot of humor in truth.”

He said he enjoys the jokes that include his family, but he also likes to switch it up.

“You can feel it with an audience,” Regan said. “You can feel the attention. If you let them get complacent they can ease back into their seats. You want them to be focused and wonder ‘Where’s he gonna go? Is this going to be reality based or ridiculous?'”

He said he’s working on a Netflix special, which would be one of several now.

“It’s going to be a completely different hour than [the 2017 Netflix special] “Nunchucks and Flamethrowers,” he said.

Regan, who’s been performing stand-up since the early ’80s, said he finds new material by going through his normal daily routine. When he sees something funny, he remembers it or writes it down.

“The inspiration comes from external sources,” he said.

Regan said once he has the idea, he “puts some scaffolding on it,” which is to say he puts on a beginning, middle and an end and then he performs it on stage. He then tweaks the joke from one night on tour to the next.

This month’s performance is not the first time Regan has been to the Egyptian. He’s performed there four other times – 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Regan said he enjoys his job.

“The fact I can make a living at it is incredibly amazing to me,” he said. “I’m very fortunate. I have enough of a following I can continue doing it and sharing my funny thoughts.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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