A few months ago, Valerie told us about this really funny comedian who she had seen on a DVD at a friend’s house. So we looked him up on YouTube, and after watching a few of his routines, everyone in our house was a big fan of Brian Regan.

At about the same time, Steve and I had been talking about looking for opportunities to lighten the atmosphere…or as Steve calls it, the “tense-o-sphere” in our house. All too often, we focus too heavily on the immediate stresses and forget how to have fun.

So, when our youngest daughter spotted an ad in the newspaper that Brian Regan was coming to the Wells Fargo Center on January 9, we decided to get tickets for a several reasons. We wanted to show our kids that we are optimistic about the new year by doing something that we don’t typically do; I can’t remember the last time we got ourselves off the couch on a Saturday night and went to a live show.

Also, we would have an event in January to look forward to following the post-holiday letdown. And from what people had to say about Brian Regan on YouTube, I knew we would get a couple of hours of good clean humor that would certainly leave us laughing and lift our spirits.

Last night’s show delivered on all counts. Brian Regan is an incredibly polished performer – the program said he started doing standup in the late 1980’s and we found a video of him on YouTube with a mullet and parachute pants – yet because it’s a live performance there is an element of unpredictability. And when those moments happen, such as when an audience member shouts out something unexpected, his finesse and wit are amazing.

I was concerned that because we had watched a lot of his routines on YouTube that we had seen all his material. That was absolutely not the case; the entire show was fresh for me and the only bit I recognized was his encore routine about his visit to the emergency room which he did because it was a shout out from the audience.

And the funny thing was…and it was funny…that even though I had watched him perform this same routine on a video on YouTube, I enjoyed it even more this time. I guess that’s what makes a really great performer, there’s really nothing spontaneous about the story he’s telling…who knows how many hundreds of times he’s done this routine, yet Brian Regan delivered it as if he was telling it for the first time.

One side note about the evening, just as the show was about to begin, a group of about 10 people was escorted into the theater and sat down in the only vacant seats in the house…which also happened to be the best seats in the house. I didn’t pay much attention until Steve pointed out that John Lasseter was there. For our daughter who dreams of working at Pixar someday, she was more excited about seeing him in person than if Daniel Radcliffe had shown up. I wonder if Brian and John met up after the show and if we’ll hear Brian Regan’s voice in a Disney movie two years from now.

Milton Berle is so right when he said “Laughter is an instant vacation.” We’re  looking forward to our next one on January 29 when we see Gabriel Iglesias at Wells Fargo Center.