Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brian Regan's "All By Myself"

Brian Regan is back with a brand-new project, All By Myself, and it's everything I hoped it would be: Brian Regan at his Brian Regan-ist. He's just as confused and confounded as ever and his desperate attempt at comprehending life's little puzzles brings about a hilarious frustration.

I've always liked Brian Regan because he reminds me how much of a doofus I am. Not because his approach is "I can't believe you do this" but "I can't believe I do this." I don't know if it's necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, but I've been there, and I can relate. He's not too proud to admit he's an adult and still doesn't grasp concepts like understanding the food pyramid, how to read a text a message, and broken down cars stranded in the middle of the highway.

Watching (or hearing) Regan try to wrap his brain around everyday conundrums grows to hilarious proportions as he spirals into a frenzied outburst we all wish we could mimic in our own lives.

Regan is often a highly-physical comedian, accentuating a joke or premise with what has become his trademark head-bobbing strut. That isn't lost on an audio CD, as his vocal cadence and inflection punctuate his observations masterfully and get his point across.

Regan's kids are the focal point of a few tracks, but his material never approaches the cheesy "those darn kids" zone. Instead it's an interesting battle of wits between children and what is basically a child trapped in an adult's body.

When he brings up such already-been-there topics like Captain "Sully" Sullenberger and the Balloon Boy, he tempts the comedy fates. Haven't we already heard every possible angle on these stories from countless comedians and late-night hosts? You'd think that would be the case, but you haven't heard them like this. When I think of the Balloon Boy, I think of his scheming parents who cooked up the whole cockamamie plan. I never really thought of how Balloon Boy threw up on TV every time he had to lie and how that would affect him as an adult.

Regan is sometimes overshadowed by his past work: "You too," "Take luck," and pluralizing the word "ox." With All By Myself he continues to push forward with consistently hilarious work that will no doubt be added to bits that are shouted out by audience members in the future (like when an audience member requests his "Manslaughter" bit, which Regan mis-hears as "Vampires"). All I can do is wish him godspeed. And yes, I can imagine him going that fast.

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