Brian Regan: Standing Up

  • 06/09/2007
  • views: 0

Brian Regan shares dinosaur jokes from his son, expresses crippling existential doubt about string theory and imagines the "Dora the Explorer" writers' room. (42:51)

and I came upon a truck...

pulling a horse trailerwith a sign on the back--

"Caution:Transporting show horses."


"Oh, 10:00 and 2:00!

"We're sharin' the roadwith show horses.

"If I start to lose control,I'll hit one of these carswith people!

"Or at least a trailerwith just plain old horses.

But those horses,they gotta put on a show!"

What are you supposed to doin a spin-out?

Don't hit the show horses!Anything but the show horses!

Can you imagine hitting--[ Gibberish ]

Then I came up onanother truck with a trailerwith a sign on the back,

"Don't worry,just dumb old donkeys."

I was crossing over the line.Boom, boom. Boom. Hee-haw!

Boom. Who cares?Just dumb old donkeys.

They refuseto apply themselves.[ Brays ]

Heck with them.Those dumb old donkeys.

[ Chuckles ]

I lived in Californiafor awhile, and to getmy California driver's license--

This is true.I was reading in the Californiadriver's handbook.

It says, "To receive yourCalifornia driver's license,

"you will be requiredto give a thumbprint...

or another fingerprintif you have no thumbs."

Is this a common enoughoccurrence...

everyone needs to knowthis contingency plan?

Shouldn't that be justfor one guy at the know about?

"I'm gonna need a thumbprint.""I don't have any thumbs."



[ Gibberish ]

Only Charlie needs to knowwhat's gonna happen,

not every single personin the entirestate of California.

I lived in California forawhile, and to get my Californiadriver's license

This is true.I was reading in the Californiadriver's handbook.

It says, "To receive yourCalifornia driver's license,

"you will be requiredto give a thumbprint...

or another fingerprintif you have no thumbs."

Is this a common enoughoccurrence...

everyone needs to knowthis contingency plan?

Shouldn't that be justfor one guy at the know about?

"I'm gonna need a thumbprint.""I don't have any thumbs."



[ Gibberish ]

Only Charlie needs to knowwhat's gonna happen,

not every single personin the entirestate of California.

Why is that in that book?[ Chuckles ]

Speaking of, uh,fingers and driving--

It's not what you think.

I was driving the other day,and there's a guyin the lane next to me.

He's in a convertible,and he's talkin'on his cell phone.

Blah, blah,la, la, la, la.

"I think I'm more importantthan I really am.[ Gibberish ]

And here's why--"[ Gibberish ]

He was yammeringuselessly.

So I had to watchwhat I was doin'and what he's doin'.

And this guyhad constructionin his lane,

so he needed tomerge into my lane.

He didn't even know this,because he's into his call.

I knew he needed to merge.I gave him some room.

I swear.Here's how he thanked me.He's lookin' down.

He's talkin'. He looks up,sees the construction,

sees thatI'm givin' him room,and he goes--

Could less effort possiblybe put into thankinga fellow human being?

"Oh, man. Here I was,all self-absorbed,

"and you were nice enoughto look out for my safety.

I don't knowhow to thank youother than--"

"And I mean thatfrom the bottom of my heart.

"I mean that profoundly.

"Thank you.

Thank you fromthe very depths of my soul."

I'm not making this up.I saw a van for some company.

I don't even knowwhat the business was.

It had two thingsprinted on the side--

"We speak English"and "We delivery."

Ah. Ah, is that right?

Can you imaginebeing bilingual?Would that be-- Heh.

Or even knowinganybody that was?[ Laughs ]

I'm not even unilingual.

Actually, I shouldn't say that.I don't give myselfenough credit. I-I know--

I know enough English to,like, you know, get by,you know.

No, like, like,I can order in restaurantsand stuff, you know.

"I want ham!

"One ham, please,to eating the ham.

Bring ham to eatingthe ham, please."

I can do that.You know, justnot fluent, I guess.

I got a buddy who, uh,thinks he speaks Italian.

It's very strange.Very strange.

He's Italian-American.Never been to Italy.Never.

All my friendcan say in Italianare pasta dish names.

He doesn't even know any verbs,but he still triesto pull it off.

[ With Italian Accent ]"Oh, my mom, she makes-agreat-a manicotti."

"I'm sorry. What?""My mom.She makes manicotti.

She makes it al dentewith-a ricotta cheese."

"Are you okay?'Cause--

You sound likeyou're really weird."

[ Chuckles ]I have an Irish heritage.I don't do that.

Oh, my mom, she makes a great[ High-Pitched Voice ]corn beef and cabbage!

[ In High-Pitched Voice ]It's magically delicious!

Then I Riverdancemy way home, you know?

Backed awayfrom the gate on time.Just sat there for a half hour.

Nothin' you can do.Ever wanna knock on the doorup there?

[ Imitates Knocking ]"Um,

"why don't we all headwhere we're goin'?

That's what we're alltalkin' about back here."

But you don't do that.You just sit therelike a goober.

After a half hour,the captain finally gets on.

[ Groans ]

"Ohh, folks--

Lemme tell youwhat's goin' on up here."

Oh, I hope it's good!

Has that everfollowed with anythingeven remotely good?

"Lemme tell youwhat's goin' on up here.

"Uh, we found a bigbag of money onboard,

"and, uh, the tower hasinstructed us to divvy itamongst all you passengers.

"We apologizefor the delay.

"The problem is, each individualstack is getting so high,they keep toppling over.

"And, uh, the rubber bandswe've been using keep snappingon the size of these bundles.

Apologies from the flight--"[ Gibberish ]

It's never that.It's never that.

It's always, "Uh, somebodyput our engine in upside-down.

"And, uh, there's onlyone tool in our galaxythat can fix this.

"And, uh,it's in Madagascar.

"The tower has instructed usto go to a holding area...

and remain there until everyoneon board dies a natural death."

So you go thereand die.

They always listento the tower.

They never questionthe authority of the tower.

"Well, the tower'stellin' us to hold."

Well, so-so what about that?

Just once, I wanna hear,"The tower's tellin' usto hold, but, uh,

"you might noticeI'm rumblin' along the grass.

"If you look out the right,you'll see all those aircraftlined up on the runway.

Uh, the tower keeps tellin' uswe're number 19 for takeoff.I say we're number one."

How would you like that?

[ Chuckles ]Right?

What's the towergonna do?"Hey, you!

You can't exhibitthat type of behavior!"

"You're right.I shouldn't have done that."

[ Laughs ]"No, I should'velistened better.

If you need me,I'll be up in the clouds."

I'm not sure what this was.Okay.

[ Chuckles ]Okay. I'm not surewhat I'm dodging as I'm--

Okay. Wow."He must be a pilotto know that move."

So I had, um, I had to gothrough the security obviously.

And they had the x-ray area.

I don't mind goin' through it,but I get tiredof the businessmen...

who make way too big a dealout of their computers.

You ever hear of these people?"Excuse me, I have a computer.

I have a computer here.I don't know how you're gonnahandle this-- my computer."

"Oh, is he from the future?"

They've been around awhile, pal.I think they have a way tohandle your computation machine.

I wanna do thatwith an Etch A Sketch,you know?

Just do it,see what happens.Excuse me, my laptop.

What's that?Need to see it work?Okay.

Wanna see the screen change?

That's a staircase.

So the airlinelost my bag,temporarily.

Had to go into thatbaggage claim office.

Boy, that must bea wonderful place to work.

Every single person thatcomes in, you have to go,"Uh, lemme guess. You're angry?

"Okay. Angry people here,livid people here.

"Stay organized. Angry, livid,those who wanna ring my neck.

Let's stay organized."

So I know it's gotta be hardfor them, you know?

So-- Y--I'm tryin' not to betoo upset.

But it's hard not to be.They lost your bag.

But you gotta squelch it,or they won't do anythingfor you.

You gotta go in,"Hey, how ya doin'?


"Yeah. Oh, uh, my bag?

"Yeah, I gave it to you guysa few hours ago and--

"And it ain't spinnin' aroundon that thing.

So I was wonderin'what kind of hell on EarthI should prepare for."

"Well, hopefullyit'll be on the next flight.

"If not, it'll come inon tomorrow morning's flight.

We'll deliver it to your hotel.In the meantime, you don't needto worry. I have this."

He reaches under the counter,hands me a little bag this bigwith a zipper on the top.

And it says,"Essentials kit."

"Oh, these are the essentials.

"Then I over packed.

"I thought I neededall that stuff I meticulouslyput in my suitcase.

I stand corrected."

They have the gall--If that was really anessentials kit, if you had one,

you'd never need togo to work again.

"Whatever happened to Harry?""Oh, he don't need us.

"He happened uponan essentials kit.

He opened it up.It was filled with food,shelter and love!"

So, I'm going to a party.

And I had to go to aGreeting Card store to geta birthday card.

These places areway too subdivided now.

They don't have justa simple birthday section.

They have, like,"Happy birthday for age fourfrom the both of us."

What the hell?[ Chuckles ]

"I'm lookin' for a religious,humorous, happy birthday...

for age seven twinsfrom the A.F.C. West."

They have a whole sectioncalled "blank inside."

What in the hellis a blank inside card?

So I've been sending 'em out."Sorry you're feelingso blank inside.

I feel like thatmyself sometimes."

What kind of scam--

The guy who's sellin'blank inside cardsmust wake up laughin'.

"What do you do again?"[ Laughs ]

"I sell blank inside cards.

"A picture of a tree,nothin' on the inside.

"No little limerick,nothin'!

They're buyin' a crease!"

They have another whole sectioncalled "encouragement."

I like to send thoseto people who are notabout to do anything.

Just keep sending 'em follow-upsand confusing 'em.

"You can do it!"

"I can do what?I keep getting these!"

"I know it's in you.""What? What is in me?What can I do?"

Maybe you should godo something,

instead of reading cardsall the time.

You know what's fun?You pick somebody at random,like, out of the phone book...

and send 'em abouta hundred "just because" cards.

They can't even ask youwhy you did it.

They have a sectioncalled "new baby."

I don't think you needthe word "new."

You'd have to clear upconfusion.

"Do you havean old baby section?

"'Cause, uh, well,

"my friend had a baby,

"and I let timeget away from me.

"And he's 12.

"Is there an areaof your establishment--

Are you the proprietor?"

They'd be askin'that sort of thing.

They have "birthday."Then they have"birthday, humorous."

[ Laughs ]That kicks it up a notch.

They have "sympathy."No "sympathy, humorous."

I've yet to seewhere they've tried to--

I guess that's good.You wouldn't want toget one of those.

"Sorry about your Uncle Fred,but, hey, sometimesyou end up dead.

"Did somebody blonk himin the head?

Did somebody pump himfull of lead?""What the--

Are they tryingto be humorous?"

"Bet you're gladit wasn't you instead."[ Shrieks ]

Does the owl go, "who,"

or does it go, "hoot"?

Half the books say one.Half the books say the other.

Let me tell you something.Owls don't go, "hoot." Okay?

Has anyone ever heardan owl go, "Hoo-t"?


Never in the historyof the animal kingdom...

has an owl enunciatedlike that. Ever.

Toss those booksin the trash can.They didn't do their research.

Who's decidinghow they go, you know?

"The horse goes, 'Neigh.'"

When? When?

When does a horse do that?

"You wanna give me a ride?""Neigh."

Everybody knowshorses don't go, "neigh."They go, "Wilbur."

Common knowledge, I believe.

They're all over the placewith dogs.

"The dog says, 'Bark.'"

"The dog says, 'Ruff.'"

"The dog says, 'Woof.'"

"The dog says, 'Bow-wow.'"

That's the onethat intrigues me.

Who the hell ever heard a dog...

and could have possiblyinterpreted it that way?

[ Imitates Dog Barking ]"Did you just heara bow-wow?"

"I distinctly hearda bow-wow."

[ Imitates Dog Barking ]"There it is again. Bow-wow.

You're not hearing that?You're not hearing a bow-wow?"

[ Barks ]Bow. Wow.

"You're not hearingany of that?"


Like take themto butterfly pavilions.

We took our kids to thisbig mesh-covered place filledwith butterflies, you know?

As we're walking in,this worker goes,

"I'll be happy to answerall your butterflyquestions today."

[ Laughing ]"Okay.

All of them?"

Where do you beginwhen you get that kindof green light?

So this guy'sfollowing us around,

and it's falling on meto brainstorm upbutterfly questions.

I'm just, like--[ Groans ]



"What I wanna--

[ Mouthing Words ]

"Does this one like to eat?

"He does? Okay.

"Care to expound on that at all?

No? Okay."

I was thinking, couldthere be a less-stressful job...

than workingin a butterfly pavilion?

I mean, you know,what could possiblygo awry, you know?

"So how was work, dear?"

"Don't even get me started.

"I've had it up to herewith those butterflies.

"I had this yellow onelanding lightly on flowers.

"And this purple onefluttering around and around.

"Like I don't knowwhat he's up to!

I can't take the politics!"

They had, like,a five-year-old boyholding a helium balloon,

and he accidentally let goof his balloon.

The boy started crying,and his parents were, like,"Why are you crying?

It's a balloon.We'll get you another one."

I'm, like,"Jeepers creepers, folks."

Sometimes I don't thinkadults try hard enough,

you know, to understandwhat kids are going through.

If you wanted to relateto what it's going through,

imagine if you tookyour wallet out...

and it just startedfloating away. "No!"

"Why are you acting like that?

It's a wallet.We'll get you another one."

"I want that one!"

That's what your boyis going through.

We have a little boy.

We had a monitor in his roomthe other night, and, uh--

I don't really pushwhat I do on my kids.

I figure they'll find outwhen they want to find out.

I was sittingwith my wife watching TV,and it was at night.

We thought he was sleeping,and all of a sudden I heard,through the monitor,

"Daddy, I have a jokefor your career."

Wow. I got,like, goose bumps, man.

I'm, like, "Wow."

So I gotta go up there, man.I ran upstairs.

[ Laughs ]This is true.And I sit on the bed.

I'm, like,"Man. Wow. You got a jokefor my-my act buddy?"

And he goes,"Yeah. I just thought of it."

And I was, like, "Whoa."I wanted to cry I was, like,so touched, you know?

I was, like, "Really? Wow.What's the joke, buddy?"

And he goes,"How come dinosaurs don't talk?"

"I don't know.How come dinosaurs don't talk?"

"Because they're all dead."

Have you seen that show?

They had a thinga couple of weeks agoabout string theory.

I started watching thatat 8:00 p.m.,

and at 8:03 my brain exploded.

They said string theoryis the stuff...

that the physicistsare now figuring out...

that Albert Einsteinwas not able to nail downin his theories.

So I'm thinking,"Well, if Albert Einsteindidn't understand it,

me on a couchwith a bag of potato chipsdon't have a shot."

"Oh, I see whatthey're talking about.

"Yeah, you gottaincorporate gravity.

I always wondered whyhe didn't do that."

I'm sitting there workingon my string cheese theory.

You know, they always sayAlbert Einstein was a genius.

Then how come when anyoneever calls you that,it's an insult?

"You won't know whereyou parked the car?Good job, Einstein."

I don't think we'rehonoring that man properly...

by using his name in vainin parking lots.

That's the only timehe ever comes up.

It's one of myfavorite shows.

People bring intheir old stuffto get it appraised.

My favorite partof that whole show...

is the peoplein the background, you know?

If aliens ever wanted to seewhat we're all about,

they should just bring that tapeback to their planet.

"Let me show you whatwe're dealing with here.

"Yeah, we can dowhatever we want down there.

Yeah, they rulethe whole planet."

"They rule the whole"--"Yes. They rulethe whole planet."

"Let's go shine lightsin their eyes."

I'd like to get on that show--

Go stand in line for, like,three hours with an old,rusty spatula.

Just finally get up there.Hand it to the guy.

"Is there some type of storyassociated with this?"


"Well, it was inthe kitchen drawer,

"and I couldn't open it'cause the spatulawas stickin' up.

So I thought maybeit was from Babylon."

"Do you see howthis says 'Kmart'?

Would you be surprisedif I told you this wasabsolutely worthless?"


When is this gonna air?"

[ Imitates Beeping ]"Absolutely worthless."

NBC Sports,on their golf telecast--

They got caughtputting in bird noisesfor ambience.

Birds aren't even there.

And a bird lovercalled 'em on it,

because he was hearing a birdthat was not indigenous...

to where the tournamentwas being held.


Can you imagine beingthe guy who had to fieldthat phone call?

"Uh, yeah, Sports Department."

"Uh, yeah, hi.

Listen, uh, does thissound right to you?"

[ Whistling ]

"No, that don't. Um--I-I don't know whatyou're talkin' about."

"Yeah. Yeah, apparentlyyou don't.

"Yeah, I guess I'm supposedto believe the Blue-Breasted'Whipoorwillow'...

"has decided to alterits annual migratory route...

to enjoy a little golf."

[ Laughing ]"What?"

"Maybe for that reasonyou should try"--

[ Imitating Bird Call ]


"I get it. I got one.

[ High-Pitched Voice ]"Cuckoo!

Cuckoo. Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs."

[ Gibberish ]

You have to admire that guy.You have to admire him.

You're not gonna slipa chirp past him.

"What the hell was that?

"Please tell me I did notjust hear that. Please.

Please tell me this is nothappening to me today."

I wish he would havehandled it differently.

I wish, instead of calling,he would have snuck in therelate at night,

pulled out that bird tape,you know,

and stuck in anotheranimal track.

No one would even knowtill it's goin' out live.

[ Hushed Voice ]"Um, Ernie Els is...

"looking at abouta 10-foot putt here.

"This is--[ Laughs ]

This is a downhill putt.It's gonna breaka little bit to his left."

[ Imitating Bird Screeching ]

Politicians like to use the TVfor their negative ads.

I love watching them.

I love the sinistervoice-over guythat they use.

[ Deep Voice ]"He voted to give himselfa pay raise."

Wouldn't you?I-I don't know.

Is that the worst thingyou have on the guy?

"Apparently he wantedmore money...

to provide for his family."

[ Growls ]

Then they morph himinto a devil.[ Roaring ]

This is an actualnegative campaign ad--

I'm not making this up--about the other candidate.

"He voted to allowseven-year-oldsto be Tasered."

That's an actual ad.And they interviewed the guywho had voted for that.

He was, like,"I meant worst-case scenario.

"If the kid gets a weapon,we don't wanna hurt him.

In the worst caseyou can Taser himand get the weapon away."

As if that wasthat man's platform.

"I want to Taserseven-year-olds."

He's talking with his staff--"When I'm elected,

"can we havesome seven-year-oldson the stage with me?

"I think I'll swear in,and then I'll Tasera seven-year-old."

"Think that'd be a nice wayto start the term.

"I solemnly--And then I'll Taseranother one.

How many can webus in for this?"

That's what that manwanted to do.

Politicians are smart, man.

They certainly know howto not answer questions.

They have tricks that no oneever seems to call them on.

"I'm sorry. I'm nottaking questions today."

"Oh. Oh.Well, when will you be--

[ Whispering ]Oh. That's a question."

[ Mouthing Words ]

Not taking questions?

I wish I would have knownthat was an optionwhen I was a kid in school.

"Brian, how do you findthe square rootof a fraction?"

"I'm sorry.I'm not takingquestions today."

You know? Another onethat politicians pull.

"Well, let me answer thatby asking you this."

You can't answer thatby answering that?You can't do that?

I wish I had that stuntready in school too.

"Brian, how did World War Iaffect the economyof central Europe?"

"Well, let me answer thatby asking you this.

"How much woodwould a woodchuck chuck,

"if a woodchuckcould chuck wood?

I think I've made my point."

[ Chuckles ]

They had local electionswhere we were living,and we had just moved there,

so I didn't knowany of the candidates,but that didn't matter,

'cause theywould put billboardson the side of the road...

with their nameand two one-word qualities.

Which is really all you needto make an informed decision.

"Steve Wilson.Leadership. Integrity."

[ Chuckles ]"Say no more.

That's what I'm looking for,right, honey?Those two things."

The only waythat would be helpful...

is if his opponent hada billboard right next to it--

"Floyd Nimrod.Laziness. Thievery."

"I don't think so, Mr. Nimrod.

"Not when you compare,when you really weigheverything.

"When you really step backand weigh it.

No. Not-Not-- No."

"Ask not what your countrycan do for you.

Ask what you can dofor your country."

And then Robert Kennedywas credited with,

"Some people look at thingsthe way they areand ask, 'Why?'

I look at thingsthat never wereand ask, 'Why not?'"

It's powerful,but it must have been weirdgrowing up with them,

you know, speaking in flip-flopsaround the dinner table.

"Ask not if someonecan pass the saltand pepper to you.

Ask if you can passthe salt and pepperto someone."

"Some people lookat creamed cornand ask, 'Why?'

I look at creamed cornand ask, 'Why not?'"

And then Ted's, like,"There any more rolls?"

I gotta learn moreabout politics.

I hear about fund-raiserswhere it's $1,000 a plate.

Wow. $1,000 a plate.

I would have to sendthe food back just out ofthe principle of the thing.

"Excuse me, please.Just take this away."

"Is there a problemwith your meal, sir?"

"Uh, well--[ Chuckles ]

"It's good.It just ain't $1,000 good.

"Go add something.

Put some kind of glazeon there or something."

For $1,000, I would wantevery bite to be like this.

[ Laughing, Whooping ]

"That is so good I'm crying!

"I am voting for you.

"Those policies are nuts,but this is fantastic!

"Oh, my God,this is delicious!

Fire up your Taser."

Politicians have a lot to dealwith these days, man.

It's a different world.You know who I feel bad for?

Arab-Americans who trulywant to get into crop dusting.

Could be their lifelong dream.

And every timethey ask for a pamphlet,all hell breaks loose.

"I'd like some informationon crop dusting.

"And let me guess.You need to makea phone call.

I've been throughthe rigamarole."

I like watching the news.

I love the commercialsfor the local news.

You'll hear things like,"A news anchor you can trust."

What the hell is therenot to trust?

What, is he gonna lie to you?

"There's a big fire downtown.


"I don't knowif I trust this guy.

"I don't know.There's something about him.

I can't put my finger upon it.Something. Something not right."

Another one you'll hear--"A news team that cares."

[ Chuckles ]They don't careon the other channel?

Like, you click over there--"A major highwayis closed down tonight,

but, uh, hey,I don't drive home that way."

"Aw, turn it backto the team that cares.

These two are surly.I've had it withtheir uncaring ways."

You know whatI saw on the news?

And I'm not makingthis up at all.

There's a United States spynamed Brian Regan.

Brian Regan. Same spelling.It's unbelievable.

And when that trial started--He's in jail for the restof his life for, uh, espionage.

For selling secretsto Libya and Iraq.

And when that trial started,I knew nothing about that guy.

Had the news onin the background,

and I'm not reallypaying attention.

I'm doing a crossword puzzleand I hear,

"It's unclear whetherthe charges against Brian Reganwill lead to his execution."

"Guess I canset this down here.

Honey, did we paythat parking ticket?"