Dave Attell’s Comedy Central TV show “Insomniac” drew a large audience attracted to his late night-into-early morning, alcohol-fueled, irreverent ramblings through various American cities talking to strippers, bartenders, street cleaners, bakers and all manner of interesting characters who worked while the rest of us slept. A great show!
A crowd of youngish couples and single men filled three-quarters of the Hart Theater to see that Dave Attell… and they kinda did. It would have been better if he worked as hard to please as he did on his TV show.
As though flipping through a mental Rolodex of jokes, his attention jumped from topic to topic and back: acid, gay marriage, Osama Bin Laden, gas prices, politics, Albany, teen pregnancy shows, midgets, smoking, drinking, vibrators, masturbation, the end of the world, pornography, Canada, sex toys, transvestites, vegans, dolphins, etc….
Some very funny lines along the way: “Ever take acid and think you are having a pillow fight and find you are using a live baby?” What the hey! “I think a man can marry another man, as long as they are the same race. Let’s not go too far.” Run for office, man. “It’s hard to heckle a stripper in a bad strip bar when her kids are sitting next to you.” Ouch.
However, it just felt like Attell wasn’t trying all that hard and was looking to do his time and leave. He made a lame mention of the end of the world (which was happening that day), took the free laugh and didn’t go anywhere with it. Lame local humor “[insert name of town here, in this case Albany] doesn’t have any good strip bars.” Killing time with second-rate comedy club interactions with the audience – yell out your favorite drink, and I’ll make a (rote) funny comment. Invite a black man onto the stage and talk about how “white” Albany is. Ask women in the front row if they shave their pubic hair. Prompt a drunken woman in the crowd to yell out embarrassing comments. Come on, Dave – work a little harder!
His last joke was a throw-away line that didn’t work. He then apologized for ending on a bad joke and left the stage. Really? Come on, Dave, spend another one more minute beyond your contracted 60 minutes and end on something good. The applause was limp, and that about summed it up.
Big Jay Oakerson opened the show with a strip mall comedy club-worthy slew of jokes about pubic hair, lesbians, inventive sexual activity and such. He was very personable, relaxed and comfortable and good at his job. He did have one clean joke: “OK, I’ll do a clean joke……………. I don’t have any clean jokes.”
Dave Smith was the emcee and competently filled in the time before and between acts.
All in all, perfunctory. Attell, you can do a lot better.
Review by Bowtie