A Biography of Brian Regan

Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images


October 2, 1957

Quick Brian Regan Facts:

  • Regan grew up in Miami, Florida.
  • He began doing stand-up comedy in the early 1980s.
  • In 1988, Regan won $10,000 in the "Funniest Person in New York" contest held by the radio station K-ROCK.
  • He released his first stand-up album, Brian Regan Live, in 1996.
  • In 2007, Regan signed a deal with Comedy Central to produce two stand-up specials, release the DVDs, develop a series and headline a tour.

Brian Regan Overview:

Brian Regan is a rare in the world of stand-up comedy: a workhorse who spent 25 years touring and building his act, he's become a huge success just for being a stand-up without ever branching off into sitcoms or movies. He primarily works clean, making his comedy accessible to all audiences, and specializes in observational comedy, commenting on shared experiences and questioning behavior and language. Regan's high-energy delivery and tendency to push a joke to its breaking point could be seen as an influence on ​Dane Cook.

Early Life:

Growing up with seven brothers and sisters in Miami, Florida, Brian Regan was always a fan of the comedy of Steve Martin, The Smothers Brothers, and Johnny Carson. Though he attended Heidelberg College in Ohio with plans of being an accountant, a football coach there encouraged him to consider theater and communications. During his last semester in 1980, Regan dropped out of school to pursue stand-up comedy (he eventually finished his degree in 1997).

Birth of a Stand-up:

After leaving college in 1980, Regan returned to Florida and started working as a cook and dishwasher at the Comic Strip comedy club in Ft. Lauderdale. He would perform regularly at the club, working out his material and delivery over the next five years. In 1986, Regan was ready to pursue stand-up on the East Coast and moved to New York City. In just two years, Regan made a name for himself and became a star of the New York scene, winning K-Rock Radio's "Funniest Person in New York" contest in 1988.

Regan continued to grow in popularity as he toured the country throughout the rest of the '80s. By the early '90s, Regan began making television appearances on late-night talk shows and starred in two Showtime stand-up specials.

Brian Regan Awards, Albums, and More:

In 1995, Regan won the American Comedy Award for Best Club Comic; one year later in 1996, he won the award again. In 1997, he released his first stand-up album, Brian Regan Live, which to date has sold over 150,000 copies. In 2000, he taped his own Comedy Central Presents special, which continues to air in regular rotation years later. In 2004, Regan put out his own stand-up DVD, I Walked on the Moon, recorded live at the Irvine Improv.

The Move to Theaters:

By 2005, Regan was performing 40-city tours; by 2006, it had expanded to 70 cities. He also moved from performing in clubs to performing to larger audiences in theaters.

In 2007, Regan signed a unique deal with Comedy Central to record to hour-long stand-up specials to air on the channel with a subsequent DVD release. The deal also included a show development with Regan and a stand-up theater tour, "Brian Regan in Concert: A Comedy Central Live Event," which ran from 2007 to 2008. His first Comedy Central special, Brian Regan: Standing Up, debuted in June of 2007. His second, The Epitome of Hyperbole, premiered in September of 2008. Both are available on DVD.

Additional Brian Regan Facts:

  • Regan first appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1991.
  • He made his first appearance on ​The Late Show with David Letterman in 1995 and has returned to the show at least once a year ever since.
  • Regan is a regular guest on the "Opie and Anthony" radio show.
  • Regan's brother, Dennis, used to sometimes perform comedy with Brian.