Wednesday, January 04, 2006
I Learned It From My Uncle, He Don't Grow Corn
Everyone needs to do me a favor. Go over to The Onion. You might not see it at first, so you might have to click around once or twice, but you have to let me know if I'm the only one seeing this.
At the banner ad on top of the page, they alternate between one for Bud Light (a nationally known and recognized brand for a national audience) and one for comedian Brian Regan performing at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium - Riverside, CA.
Can that be right? There has to be some kind of secret spyware cookie at work targeting region-specific advertising to my computer, right? They can't be advertising Brian Regan at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium nationally can they? I've been to the Municipal Auditorium. It doesn't have that many seats.
Honestly I would have thought the Riverside mention would be the biggest shock, but I can't clearly say if I'm more surprised by the fact that it's in Riverside or the fact that they feel they need that much advertising to sell out a one-day event for someone who stopped being funny in 1993.
I remember Brian Regan. He was one of those comics they played on an endless loop back when Comedy Central was still All-Brick-Wall-All-The-Time (plus Mystery Science Theater 3000). I learned a lot from Comedy Central in those days, mostly about the disappointing quality of airplane food and that men and women are, in many respects, different.
Mr. Regan had several bits of tape in the loop back then and (I think) even his own one-man special. It's hard to be sure because back then he, like every other male comedian at the time, was rocking the same sweet mullet Dave Coullier rocked all the way to Full House syndication money. It had to be the mullet. If it wasn't the mullet, it was that goddamn Bullwinkle impression Dave always did (what was his name on the show? It wasn't Uncle Jesse... that was the Stamos... we'll just call him Uncle Not Jesse) when he put his hands up to his head to look like antlers. Since I refuse to believe that, it has to have been the mullet.
I don't know if it was the mullet in Mr. Regan's case, but I know he was funny enough at the time that my friends and I used to quote some of his lines in that death-deserving way only teenage boys can. I remember very specifically: "I shoulda got a medium!" See, as it turns out, movie theaters at the time were selling soft drinks in increasingly larger and larger sizes, a concept Mr. Regan spun out to its absurd extreme, delivering his immortal line while miming carrying something roughly the size, shape and weight of a full keg. Oh Christ, and we all pissed ourselves laughing. All the soda we'd been drinking probably didn't help.
In subsequent years I've seen Brian Regan around, a couple of times on Conan O'Brien.* Not the same, people. Lotta lean years in between. They've even stopped serving food on airplanes altogether. What's a comedian to do?
He even apparently could no longer afford to maintain his mullet, the first sign of a comedian's fall. Look at Bill Maher, Dennis Miller... no longer full-mullets, but there's definitely an overabundance of shag on each of them, both still regularly working. When you're making a steady income, you can look like Pete Best [on the right] and get away with it. For comedians, a slick, corporate haircut just reeks of desperation. If you lose the mullet entirely, you're like that guy from the Bible who was all strong and junk until that girl made him cut his hair. What was his name... oh yeah! Andre Agassi.
So here comes Brian Regan, beaten down by life, still appearing nightly at the Chuckle Stop in Tampa or at Yuck-Yuck's in OKC, no sitcom deal, no best-friend roles in movies, after all this time, rolling in to Riverside, the traditional Last Stop on the Media Whore Train.
And we got national internet exposure out of it! Woo! Yay Riverside!
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.2
*= on his show you pervs.
I keep forgetting to mention the
MPH started blogging (under his OWN NAME, if I remember right) around the same time I did. Somehow we got 18 months out of having basically the same comment-conversation over and over again, even though it was stale after about the 30th time. I credit our mutual genius (mostly mine). Here's to steady readership, to all things ridiculous, to never ever breaking character, all in pursuit of the funny.
I invite MPH to contribute to the Bucket if he feels he needs to broadcast something on occasion, especially on days when I am feeling sleepy, hungover or just bored of it all. Six days a week. I could frankly use the rest.