Drinker with a Standup Problem
"I wish it was drinking-related, but it wasn't," comedian Dave Attell joked apologetically after calling almost an hour late for his scheduled interview. Yeah, right, Dave... sure. He went on to explain that, after a long stint on the road, he'd forgotten to reset his clocks for daylight-saving time. Completely understandable -- but when your day job starts long after most of the working world has hit the hay, and it involves bar-hopping, binge-drinking, and general debauchery, you're bound to raise a little suspicion when making claims about your sobriety.
The term job is, of course, used very loosely when referring to Attell's gig on the Comedy Central hit Insomniac with Dave Attell. Part travelogue and part late-night alcoholic case study, Insomniac was an immediate success when it debuted in 2001. Instantly, Attell was the envy of every drunkard and frat boy who's ever held ill-conceived illusions of alcohol-induced comic grandeur. But those fantasies quickly fade with the realization that Attell's ability to instantly deliver deadpan, self-deprecating humor in his signature, nasal New York-accented voice is unmatched.
The show was the perfect showcase for the 15-year standup veteran, who hits the road this week on a four-month comedy tour that swings into Fort Lauderdale for two shows on Saturday. While holding a cigarette in one hand and a Jägermeister shot in the other, with a beer chaser close at hand, Attell manages to keep the bar banter sharp, witty, and utterly hilarious. On stage, Attell offers much of the same, with an edgy act that pokes fun at women, the audience, and especially himself. "My crowd tends to drink a lot," Attell says. "It's a good time. My crowd likes to get into it. I like to just sit back and let it roll." But if you're hoping to catch Attell out on the town after the show, you might be disappointed. The fourth season was reportedly Insomniac's last. "I'm working on something with Fox," he says.
Fortunately for his fans, though, the Fort Lauderdale date will be the fourth stop on "Dave Attell: The Insomniac Tour." The 35-city tour eventually concludes with shows in Las Vegas, as Attell and opening-act Sean Rouse meet up with fellow comics Dane Cook, Greg Giraldo, and Doug Stanhope, all scheduled to be turned into a feature-length concert film debuting on Comedy Central in October. Until then, Attell and Rouse will travel from city to city on a specially outfitted Insomniac tour bus. "It kind of reminds me of a special-needs bus -- just pimped up," Attell says. "We'll have a couple of cases of beer and some of those Crank Yankers puppets. So we'll get drunk and mess with the puppets."
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