“If you were to second guess your decision to book some time to visit an Indian community, that would be a reservation reservation reservation.” That was the one joke that comedian Brian Regan said he didn’t really have a good place for in his routine, but it made the crowd at the Majestic Theater in downtown Dallas laugh anyway. Regan put on a great show, and comedian Joe Bolster, who warmed up the crowd, was also highly entertaining.
I’ve seen Brian Regan on Comedy Central and DVD a few times, but this was my first time to see him live, and it was definitely worth the price of admission. His jokes are hilarious, but what’s even better are his expressions, mannerisms, and other physical comedy. He had everyone in the audience under his comic spell from his opening horse jockey joke (“how would track runners feel if I ran behind them flogging them with a whip to remind them to run…”) to his closing “I walked on the moon” piece (the astronaut’s dinner party trump card that beats all other stories).
As for the venue, the Majestic Theater was great. It was my first time to see a show there, and there’s something special about an old restored theater, with its grand staircases, ornate decor, and interesting architecture. I would definitely like to see more shows there. It is nice that the Majestic is in the heart of downtown Dallas, so you can enjoy the view of the skyline or grab a bite to eat at an interesting restaurant before or after the show. Another plus is the ample amount of parking available. We actually found a metered parking space right across the street from the entrance (and were amazed at our luck since we arrived right at show time), so we didn’t get stuck in parking garage traffic when we left.
Overall, this was a relaxing, stress relieving evening. Laughter really is contagious when you’re sitting in a theater packed with grown-ups giggling and guffawing uncontrollably. But I didn’t have to depend on the audience to make me laugh, because Brian Regan’s jokes and demeanor were consistently successful at doing their job.
Here’s a sampling of some of my favorite jokes of the night (I can’t do them justice, but hopefully you’ll get the idea…)
- Grown-ups shouldn’t vomit like the balloon boy when they lie – This was probably my favorite moment of the show. I appreciated that he included such a timely topic as the balloon boy incident, and his use of the material was great. Basically, Regan explained that someone needed to teach Falcon how to lie without vomiting, since that’s a dead giveaway that you are lying, and then imagined what would happen if grown ups had a tendency to throw up while lying. His impersonation of a husband vomiting while lying to his wife about where he’s been had everyone in the crowd rolling with laughter. “Yeah, honey, I was out playing pool with the guys…” (followed by ridiculously loud and explosive retching noises). This scenario played out in similar fashion for another minute or two, with equally hilarious results.
- 125,000 Gorillas – This joke relied on the sight gags for most of its humor. He explained that he read in the news that researchers have “just discovered” 125,000 gorillas in the Congo. He had trouble understanding how someone just happened upon “one hundred and twenty five THOUSAND” gorillas that had remained undetected until now. He wondered, were they all standing in a single file line behind a tree? And he reenacted the moment of discovery by pretending to pull back some branches, and seeing 125,000 gorillas! You probably had to be there to fully appreciate this one, but you know…
- Wide Receiver Stance – In another sight gag, Regan mentioned that he played football in high school and college, but was always bummed that his wide receiver position had the only not cool starting stance on the field. While everyone else was striking a manly pose, he was doing the “Tinkerbell pose,” standing up straight with his hands on his hips and one foot pointed out in front of him. Kind of like this:
- Black Coffee – He doesn’t understand why it’s so hard to order a simple black cup of coffee at a restaurant. He asks for a “cup of black coffee,” and the waiter asks him how he wants his coffee (“um, could I get it black, in a cup?”), and then asks if he wants cream and sugar (“do they make black cream?”). Finally, he lets out a long rant about how black he wants his coffee. I couldn’t possibly remember the whole thing here, but he starts with the phrase “blackity blackity black” and ends with something about closing your eyes and imagining the infinite blackness of space, and letting that be a starting point for understanding how black he wants his coffee. So funny, and so true, since this once simple beverage has been complicated so much by the various concoctions created by Starbucks.
- Food Pyramid – Does anyone actually use the Food Pyramid? He mimes taking the Food Pyramid out of his pocket to order at a restaurant… “I’ll have some grains – 6 or 7 servings – that’s right, just keep ‘em coming… And I’ll also have some legumes…” I knew he would mention legumes – it’s such a funny word, and few of us are even sure what they are (he said he’s not sure he’s ever even seen one).
- Irish Dancing – He mentioned his Irish heritage, and said the Irish are only good at dancing from the knees down, before proceeding to do a very spastic version of the river dance.
- Texting – He closed the show by recounting his first experience with receiving and responding to a text message. I could totally relate. He didn’t even know what was happening when his phone made a different sound, and then his wife had to show him how to accept the message. His first text was a wrong number, and only said “Yo yo, we clubbin?” Out of courtesy, he responded to let the person know that he was not “Yo Yo,” and that they hadn’t reached the right person. His response was ridiculously long, and he acted out typing the whole thing, which included words and phrases like “to whom it may concern,” “individual,” and “Godspeed.”
- The Encore – I had heard that this is always a fan favorite, since Regan takes requests from the crowd. He only did two requests at our show, probably because he had another show at the theater an hour later. But they were good ones, and both related to how certain people always want to one-up you with their stories. In his “Wisdom Teeth” bit, he related how you should never try to tell a “two wisdom teeth” story, because the “four wisdom teeth” people will parachute in and steal your thunder with tales of impacted teeth that were twisted around their tongue, and of how the teeth were ripped out with no anesthesia, and they were eating corn on the cob later that day. From there he went straight into his astronaut bit, saying he wishes he had been one of the astronauts that had been to the moon, because then he would always have a story better than all the “Me Monsters” (those people at parties who constantly talk about themselves without taking a breath – his impersonation of them is great). He proceeded to imitate a Me Monster at a dinner party speeding through one extravagant tale after another, while an astronaut sat quietly in wait for his moment. When the Me Monster took a breath, the astronaut simply said, “I once walked on the moon.” Classic.
These are only a few highlights of Brian Regan’s 75 minutes of pure comic gold. I’ll leave you with a video of his classic dinner party bit: