Veteran comic Brian Regan discusses Netflix show, recycling material

Jordyn Zitman

With nearly 30 years of stand-up experience under his belt, Brian Regan tackles a new challenge in crafting his own Netflix show alongside “Seinfeld” alumnus Jerry Seinfeld.

Drawing on bits from previous performances, Regan combines skits and stand-up to produce a truly unique project in “Stand Up and Away!”

Before his performance at ACL Live on Jan. 26, The Daily Texan had the opportunity to talk to Regan about his recent projects, working with Seinfeld and keeping an audience interested. 

Daily Texan: You recently released the first of your two-part Netflix specials, “Nunchucks and Flamethrowers,” and a four-episode series. What was it like to work with Jerry Seinfeld on these projects?

Brian Regan: It’s pretty darn cool! I’ve always been a huge fan of his, but I’m honored that he seems to like my comedy and has been supportive of me over the years. When he wanted to support me on this idea for a TV show, it was a tremendous help because if I had just pitched this on my own, I don’t know if it would’ve happened. I’m no fool — I realize that the fact that he was involved helped push this (project) over the goal. 

DT: The show translates some of your older material into sketches and bits. What was that process like? 

BR: I wish I had made that more clear in the episodes themselves. For the most part, the reaction has been very positive, but you get your occasional jerk who says, “Hey, this is all old stuff!” Then I’m like, “I know it is! It’s supposed to be.” That would be like looking at the Mona Lisa and going, “Hey, this is a painting of a woman smiling! I don’t wanna see that!” Well that’s what it is! 

DT: Your career has spanned nearly three decades. How do you continuously come up with new stand-up material? 

BR: That’s a good question, and the answer is that I don’t really know. Different people work in different ways. I’ve heard of comedians who sit down with a blank piece of
paper and they just force themselves to write. If I sit in front of a blank piece of paper, it stays a blank piece of paper. I just keep looking at it and thinking, “Man, that is blank! Look at how blank that paper is!” I’ve found that the best (method) for me is to not really try. I just go through my life the way I normally would and, every once in a while, you just see something that feels peculiar. You experience something that’s unusual and think, “Hey, that could be a bit.” 

DT: What advice would you offer to college students who want to pursue a career in comedy but are unsure of where to start or fear the risks? 

BR: When I happened upon the idea of being a comedian, I realized that it was the first time in my life that I was passionate about a career choice. Passion can fuel a lot of energy, but it’s not easy! But keep your eyes and ears open, and if you hit on something that seems to give you some excitement, don’t denounce it — maybe it’s the way you should go.