In an interview with veteran comedian Brian Regan, Punchline Magazine takes a look back on his first album– 10 years after its original release.
What’s your favorite bit on Brian Regan Live? Click around and tell us!
For years, entertainment publications have enjoyed the privilege of paying homage to historically important movies, television series premieres and original album releases with exciting anniversary nods.
Punchline Magazine recently celebrated two years online, and we’re still, admittedly, in anniversary mode. So we thought now would be a good time to reflect a bit on one of the most popular, important — not to mention the most steadily selling — stand-up comedy records of this generation: Brian Regan Live.
Released by Uproar! Entertainmen, the first commercial shipment went out in August of 1997– the album, from its simple packaging to Regan’s simple joke themes, is a perfect representation of the stand-up veteran’s comedy.
To date, the album has sold well over 120,000 copies (that’s huge for a comedy record) and according to Uproar’s CEO David Drozen, Brian Regan Live averages about 2,000 copies sold each month; last December, more than 8,000 were scanned for the holidays.
If it isn’t obvious already that Drozen, who signed Regan, knows how to pick a comic, you should know this: he’s also the guy that discovered Richard Pryor at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, signed him to the legendary Laff Records in 1970 and went on to produce 12 Pryor albums.
“I just recognized a great stand-up comedy talent and it has turned into more greatness that I really expected,” Drozen says of Regan.
But 10 years after its release, what does Regan think of his first album? Lucky for you, dear readers, we asked him.
Looking back on Brian Regan Live, what do you think of the album?
I’m thrilled with the CD and it’s really been amazing to me that it just keeps selling. The sales never seem to go down. In fact, they’ve gone up over the years. I would’ve thought that after a couple of years, people would say, “Ok I got that, don’t need that anymore. But for whatever reason, people get it and tell their friends.
I’ve been incredibly tickled — and that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word ‘tickle’ with how it’s done. I’m quite flattered by it.
When you listen to it, do you have any regrets or are there things you would’ve liked to do differently?
It’s been a while since I actually listened to it. I want to though, partly because it’s been a while since I’ve heard it, it’d just be nice to hear. But secondly, when I do live performances now, people tend to shout out things at the end of the show that they want to hear from the album and I don’t remember how to do my own jokes, which is kind of embarrassing.
I especially don’t remember the exact way they were done on the CD. In fact, I joke about that on stage. I do hear bits of it all the time on XM and stuff. And for the most part, I’m very pleased. I listen to it and say, ‘Wow that sounds pretty tight.’ When I made that, I was probably at the point where I was ready to lay something down on a track.
How did you decide to record it in the first place?
Uproar! came to us. We weren’t seeking out someone to record it. They came to us and asked if we wanted to do a CD and my manager and me talked it over and said yeah, it would probably be a good thing to do at this point– especially since I had a bunch of material.
I wanted to have a version of that material that would be on a disc and if anyone wanted to listen to it, it would be there. David Drozen came us before anybody else seemed to have much interest in me. I’ll always owe him a debt of gratitude for that. He wanted to capture my comedy and it really helped put me on the map.
Did you expect the album to catch on the way it did?
I had no clue. I didn’t realize that many people would hear the album before they saw me live. I guess I was a little naive. I always thought it would be the flip– that people that were already fans would say, ‘Hey, man. I like his comedy so I might as well get the CD.’
But with the computer and the Internet exploding around that time and with people being able to share clips, it was sort of the cart before the horse. People would come up to me and say, ‘Hey we heard your CD and we wanted to come out and see you live.’ And I was like, ‘Wow that’s amazing.’
What’s on the horizon for you?
I have Comedy Central in my corner now. They gave me a two-year deal, which includes two one-hour specials; the first aired in June. Having them in my corner is kinda nice. To have Comedy Central thinking you’re pretty good is a nice little feather to put in my cap.
For more information, check out www.brianregan.com.
You don’t have Brian Regan Live yet? Get it here!