Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Say Eight! Say Eight!

Brian Regan in his element.
I didn't really have anything planned for Valentine's Day, nothing spectacular anyway.  Last year, Theresa and I went to San Francisco for Valentine's weekend, and it was wonderful.  This year, though, it was looking like a quiet dinner and maybe a movie when a friend of mine and I stumbled on an idea.

I was showing Matt a video on iTunes of my favorite stand-up comedian Brian Regan.  If you're not familiar with his work, Regan is simply the funniest comic on the planet.  It's not even up for discussion.  I know what you're thinking.  "But Chris, that's just your opinion.  There are lots of great comics out there, it's just a matter of taste.  You can't say unequivocally that Brian Regan is the funniest."

Generally, I'd agree with you.  When it comes to most comedians, it does depend on one's personal taste as to what's funny and what isn't.  Look at Chris Rock for example, another one of my favorites, I find him hilarious and intelligent, unafraid to take on hot-button issues.  But lots of folks find him offensive.  They're put off by his foul language and his focus on racial issues.  Guys like Mitch Hedberg and Stephen Wright specialize in dead-pan one-liners, often from an absurd point of view.  "I live on a one way, dead end street," says Wright.  "I can never use my car."  Some people think these guys are hysterical; others don't get them at all.

Brian Regan chooses topics that everyone can relate to, and puts a spin on them that will bring you to tears in laughter.  From his take on Fig Newtons ("A serving size of Fig Newtons is two cookies.  Who the hell eats TWO cookies?  I eat Fig Newtons by the sleeve.") to his trip the emergency room ("Then the nurse said she was gonna give me morphine.  Morphine?  That's what they gave the guy in Saving Private Ryan right before he died!"), he makes everyday events his personal playground on which to display his comedic genius.  If you don't think this guy is a riot, it says nothing about him and everything about you.

Matt had never heard of him.

So we watched the video (I showed him the "emergency room" bit), and a few minutes later I noticed him checking something on his computer.  "Hey," he said.  "Brian Regan is performing in San Diego on Saturday."  A few clicks of the mouse later, I had secured tickets for me and Theresa.  Matt and his wife had other plans for the weekend, so they were unable to join us.

Theresa and I have seen Regan at the Improv a couple times, and we own two of his DVD's.  Long story short, we're fans, so I knew Theresa was going to be thrilled with my impromptu Valentine's Day plans.  Plus, we both love San Diego, so we could make a day of it.  A nice two-hour drive, maybe see a movie, have a nice dinner, and then go to the show.  I thought it would be great if I didn't tell her what we were doing, just drive down and let the day surprise her as it unfolded.  I imagined the excitement on her face as we waited outside the San Diego Civic Auditorium, trying to figure out who we were going to see.  I wouldn't say a word until Brian Regan was introduced onstage.  It would be great!

I called Theresa on the phone.


Okay, I'm lousy at surprises.

So we drove down in the early afternoon and went to see the new Adam Sandler movie.  It's pretty funny, once you get past the fact that there's not a single believable character in it.  The premise is fairly ridiculous (they could've solved the central problem in about eight seconds), but Sandler is his usual engaging self and there's a lot of laughs.  After the movie we walked over to Horton Plaza, which is a large mall.  Theresa wanted to stop by Bath and Body Works to pick up some more lotions and hand soaps because her supply at home is dwindling.  I think she's down to about seventy lotions and a hundred and fifteen hand soaps, so it was obviously time to restock.

Next, we went to an Italian restaurant called The Merk.  I have no clue what that name means, but their food is excellent.  We got a table on the patio, I had the penne and meatballs, Theresa had baked ziti.  Good stuff.

San Diego Civic Auditorium
And then it was off to the Civic Auditorium.  I had pre-purchased the parking ticket so it was just a matter of finding the right lot.  Turned out to be a little tougher than I had anticipated.  San Diego is one of those cities that's laid out in a grid.  The east-west streets are numbered (First Street, Second Street, Third Street, Fourth Street, Fifth Street, Sixth Street, Seventh Street . . . you get the idea), and the north-south streets are lettered (A Street, B Street and so forth).  But here's the problem.  Every street is one-way, so the odd numbered streets all go east, the even numbered go west, and the north-south streets alternate as well.  So if you're trying to get to, say, the Civic Auditorium parking structure on the corner of B and Second, you've got to plan your route with plenty of time to navigate the labyrinth.

We found it eventually, it was the third parking lot we pulled into.  But as you know if you've been reading this blog for a while, whenever I have plans -- a ball game, the movies, a show -- I leave us plenty of time for such drawbacks so we still got to the auditorium with about an hour to spare.

In short, Brian Regan was fantastic, as always.  His show was almost entirely new material, including my favorite line of the night, "I think what Michael Vick did was wrong, so to support animal rights, at my house we had a few friends over for a Be Nice to Dogs pig roast."  For an encore, Brian came back onstage and took requests to reprise some of his older, and very popular routines.  He did "I Walked on the Moon" and a few others, but sadly, we didn't get to see my favorite, "Emergency Room".

But have no fear . . . here it is.  Enjoy!


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Homemaker Man said...

Good for you dude. I don't know if I agree that he is the best comic perios, but he is definitely the best clean, observational, comic in the world. I'm totally jealous.

Suldog said...

He is, indeed, hilarious. And you, my friend, having a significant other who shares your opinion regarding the funny, are blessed.

EmptyNester said...

Agreed, he's a riot! Glad y'all had a great time! Oh, I can't keep surprises a secret either. I get it from my dad- he's way worse than I am and I suck at it! LOL

Quirkyloon said...

"I think her supply is down to about seventy lotions and a hundred and fifteen hand soaps, so it was obviously time to restock."


And that video was hilarious! I've heard of him and watched some of his videos before. My hubs introduced him to me.

He's hilarious too!

And I'll take morphine ANYTIME. (Probably not a good idea to admit that, huh?)

If I Were God... said...

Sorry bro, gotta doubt your comic taste the moment I saw you pimping an Aniston/Sandler movie. They are the pound for pound leaders in worst movies over the last ten years. Putting those two together in the same flik is like pairing Al Davis and Dan Snyder to run your football team! Epic FAIL.

Eva Gallant said...

Glad you had a great Valentine's Day celebration! And he is hilarious!

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

I can't believe nobody said Bill Cosby. His early stuff, in the '60s, still fits today.

Boom Boom Larew said...

Dang! You really know how to show a girl a good time, Chris! Loved the video. And after having spent a few days on the orthopedic ward myself after a night in the ER, he's spot on with all the moaning going on!

Jamie said...

I'm a huge fan of Brian Regan. One of my (many) favorite lines is "Blasting Zone? Shouldn't that sign read 'Road Closed.'" As for the ER, morphine bit, I totally get that after being in the ER with meningitis. I really thought I was a goner.

lime said...

oh man, we discovered brian regan a few years ago and we've been hooked ever since. the guy is an absolute riot! glad you scored the tickets. what a great treat .

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