Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.
Brian Regan can impersonate Pluto — not the god, but the planet. And he does it convincingly. That takes skills or guts or something else that few people on this planet possess. He did five minutes about the day that the “planet definition committee,” a leather-jacket-wearing posse of arrogant scientists, called Pluto into their office and told him that he was no longer a planet but just a small ball of nothingness. Regan actually manages to make you feel a little sad for the planet out there wandering space with no identity — but funny-sad.
From the moment the comedian took the stage at Robinson auditorium on Friday night the crowd was snickering. He quickly rolled us into laughter. He invited the crowd not to just laugh with him, but at him, resorting often to cross-eyed and slack-jawed faces.
He's that guy from high school who was always cracking you up in the back of class or in the backseat of a car, the guy that you knew was smart even if the teachers didn't realize it, the guy who could do impressions of every teacher or classmate on request. Most of those dudes grew up to crack up their officemates, but Regan took his act on the road in the late '80s.
That's probably the resume of just about every comedian, but Regan has something that most of them don't — a hard-to-quantify extra bit of humor. Some people “have the funny” and some don't. Regan has it. It's the difference between a witty person getting on stage and saying funny things and a hysterical person taking over the stage by being funny.
His shtick is a combination of ridiculous facial expressions, easily relatable experiences and dilemmas, Seinfeldian observations and nostalgia. That combo may not set him far apart from other comedians, but that's only because you haven't seen him yet.