Brian Regan is in the Republican phase of tweaking his stand-up routine.
“When I’m gearing up to shoot a special, I tend to be working on the material that will be in that special. Once the special is shot, I start repealing and replacing,” Regan says, in an email exchange in advance of his performance Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre. “I hope that didn’t sound too political.”
Last month, Regan spent three days in Denver filming his latest special, which will air on Netflix later this year. It’s one of two specials the comedian will do with the streaming service.
Getting hooked up with Netflix was a big deal, says Regan, a rather clean-up comedian, now decades into his career that includes movie and television spots – and those pre-movie Coca Cola commercials.
“The way entertainment gets to the people is evolving so fast. It’s important to be involved with that evolution,” he says, mostly to see how many v’s he could include in a single answer.
Regan’s point stands.
Netflix has become the go-to place to find comedians. The streaming service says it’s looking to release a new stand-up special every week in 2017. When Vulture released its list of 2017’s best comedy specials (so far), the majority were Netflix releases. Comedians like Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, Sarah Silverman, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Amy Schumer have all signed multi-million dollar deals to provide Netflix exclusive content.
And it’s not just established comics. Up and coming comedians like John Mulaney (who plays Saroyan Theatre Friday, July 14) have found also home on Netflix. His last stand-up special “The Comeback Kid” was released on the service in 2015 and his two-man off-Broadway show “Oh, Hello on Broadway” was a hit when it started streaming in June. He’ll also lend his voice to the animated series, “Big Mouth,” slated for release later this year.
For lesser-known comedians, Netflix connects to new fans on an international scale. Jo Koy (who just performed a sold-out show at Eagle Mountain Casino last month) scored a big bump when he sold his self-produced comedy special to Netflix in November. It was the best decision of his career, according to an interview the comedian did with NBC News.
“The reach that it has … I’m getting [comments on social media from] the Netherlands, Dubai, Iraq. I love the fans that I already have, but the ones I never even touched before, it just feels even better.”
That’s not to say it’s all Netflix and chill for comedy fans. There is still a market for people going out to see live comedy, Regan says. Those specials are filmed in front of live audiences, after all, though he’s quick to point out the special he did at Radio City Music Hall a few years back.
“That one actually did go out live, so that was pretty cool,” he says.
Netflix is simply keeping in step with a younger demographic, one that tends to be into the new waves of technology.
“ I guess while young people are watching Netflix in one room, their parents are watching old VHS tapes of ‘The Midnight Special’ in the other room,” Regan says.