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STUDIO: Comedy Central
RUNNING TIME: 42 Minutes
- The Encore
- The Backstage Story
Cast: Brian Regan. Thousands of laughing, faceless people.
For forty-two minutes a man makes crazy faces, uses silly voices, and tells jokes that feature no profanity, are about mundane things about life will offend virtually no one. And it works.
Whether or not you’ll be a fan of Brian Regan depends on how funny you think a guy doing an impression of Pluto reacting to the news it’s no longer a planet is. His face contorts, little noises squeak out at him, and he’s near tears. Then, he rotates around the stage lost at sea and crestfallen. It’s something so small and odd but he nails it damn near every time.
His humor is cute. It’s oftentimes easy to tell where it’s going and the man makes some incredibly silly faces but there’s so much effortless charm and innocence to the way the guy works that it’s surprising and somewhat comforting to have someone so willing to just do his thing without any crutches. He prowls the stage without any bullshit, just trying his damndest to entertain but unlike the clean comedians (and dirty ones who sell out) who have sitcoms and family films paying their rent, he’s actually funny.
The Epitome of Hyperbole is a breezy 42 minutes that falls between his amazing Brian Regan Live! and the slightly disappointing Standing Up performances on video in terms of effectiveness. The material ranges from jokes about intelligent life on other planets to how newspapers are poorly laid out to how men don’t discuss personal matters to how he stumbles into conversations he has no business being in and it’s mostly all funny though it truly qualifies as light entertainment.
If there’s a The Package
familiarity to his work it’s because his style has been “sampled” from
time to time by more famous comedians like Dane Cook, Mike Birbiglia,
and others. There are times when I’ll listen to a comedian and find myself lose interest when something feels too much like another comedian, particularly if they’re channeling Mitch Hedberg or Brian Regan because of how singular their work is. That’s both a testament to the quality of work by the pioneers and also a statement on how some comedians borrow from wherever they can.
But it’s too easy to bash folks like Dane Cook because of their success. It’s much more interesting to see folks who deserve more attention get it. Regan has made a good career for himself by occupying his own little niche and owning it. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, Regan stays
within a small but effective wheelhouse. The way he repeats things, how
he phrases sentences, and how he can sell a joke with a tiny bit of
body language is his bread and butter and there’s great value in a
comedian who can perform his act uncut and still be appropriate for any
Fr fans of Regan this is like a warm blanket and for those who aren’t familiar it’s a good gateway special. It’s not going to elicit gasping fits nor a stony impassive face from newcomers, just a nice steady stream of smiles and the occasional laugh here and there.
That’s Regan’s gift. He’s like a reliable watch. Not the fanciest or the most cool but always there to make your day just a little easier to get through.
One thing I’m trying to imagine is how this guy creates and perfects his jokes. Does he contort and go apeshit while looking at himself in the mirror to find the perfect expression or does it all flow out naturally?
Either way, the guy is great. And what is sadly rare with comedians these days… HE DOESN’T DO SONGS!
7.0 out of 10
This is a Comedy Central DVD and while sometimes they feature a host of little short bits and animated shorties and whatnot this features a look at the considerable work that goes into making a special life this happen and little else. It does showcase what a down-to-Earth and regular guy Regan is, but that’s never been in question. No one buys these DVDs for the bonus features.
7.0 out of 10