Brian Regan at the Lincoln Center

As every parent knows, kids pass many milestones growing up, not the least of which, in my book, is when they become old enough to understand some of the humor in the adult world. When my boys first watched (the edited version of) Christmas Vacation, they thought it was the dumbest movie ever—and felt entirely gypped by the fact that only the opening credits were animated. Now, they appreciate why I laugh until I cry every time that squirrel jumps out of the tree. And when something isn’t working around the house and I tell my husband that “the little lights aren’t twinkling,” the boys get the joke. I love it when they get the jokes.

My husband and I have followed comedian Brian Regan’s career for years. We’ve seen him perform live three times—twice in Denver and once here. Thanks to Netflix and YouTube, my boys know—and love—most of Brian’s routines and can do pretty darn good impersonations of him. When they heard last summer that Brian would be coming to town, they desperately wanted to go. In a Christmas lie to rival the Grinch, we told them that tickets were sold out, and man, were they disappointed. Fast-forward to Christmas morning when they unwrapped their tickets. Surprise. Elation. Big smiles on the faces of two sneaky parents.

The week before the show, one son was sick with a cold and the other with the stomach bug that had run rampant through the school. I worried that, come show time, not all of us would be healthy enough to attend. But the gods of comedy smiled on us, and we were good to go. Were we the only ones talking about girth units at Mulligan’s on Friday? I like to think so.

The show was everything we knew it would be: spot-on, gut-achingly hilarious, and clean enough for tweens. (That last part sounds lame, but if you know Brian’s comedy, you know what I mean.) I was in tears by uni-hair and didn’t stop laughing until the end. I hope my boys will always remember seeing Brian Regan live for the first time. I know I will never forget how much I enjoyed watching them watching him.

My older son will soon officially be a teenager, and the younger will follow in two years. I know there will be many times during this phase of our lives when we will not see eye-to-eye on everything. Perhaps anything. But if we can still laugh together as a family, we’ll make it through.


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