Dave Attell swung by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night to talk about the holidays, and in the process, showed off his dreidel to Fallon. Because Attell is Jewish, the holidays mean something different for him than for Fallon. Such as: "Christmas is a long day for the Jews."
Watch an excerpt! Watch them watch that dreidel!
Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I reported on the official trailer for "J-Stache," an animated look at the adventures of rock-n-soul artist John Oates (he, of Hall & Oates) and his crazy mustache (voiced by stand-up Dave Attell), only to see the video mysteriously disappear from the front page of Funny or Die an hour or two later? Well, kids, mystery solved. Turns out wires got crossed, and the video is back up this morning.
The FOD blog published a note (reportedly) from Oates about it all on Sunday, which began thusly: "Will Ferrell is a kind soul. While I was initially hurt that Funny or Die agreed to air a videotape from my old wingman, Will made up for it by reaching out and offering me this forum to address the public. Will Ferrell, classy guy." And now he's back on this forum, too.
So after all of that, here, again, is the trailer for J-Stache. Was it worth the wait?
What if Oates from hit soul/pop/rock duo Hall & Oates reunited with his mustache, only to find it's voiced by stand-up comedian Dave Attell and helping him fight crime and making merry mischief? That's what I could gather from this new two-minute trailer for a possible cartoon series called J-Stache. Roll the clip! (Roll the clip? Funny or Die had this on the home page this morning, and yet, hearing/seeing some technical difficulties as it got pulled shortly after I posted it -- please be patient!)
The video may be in flux...
But you can see the J-Stache FOD page, Facebook fan page, or Ride the Mustache blog. It all comes from Primary Wave Music Publishing (you can see the brand on the hood of his car), which owns rights to some big Hall & Oates hits from the 1980s, and attempts to introduce Oates to a new generation of music-buying fans. About a year ago, Oates told Billboard magazine "there's even talk of the mustache trying to bring new bands into the picture." He's talking about the cartoon stache, natch. Billboard goes on to report that the full animated pilot will be closer to 10 minutes before being shopped to TV networks, and will include appearances by David Crosby, Tom Selleck and more (Geraldo Rivera is in the clip above -- waffles?!).
Coincidentally, Comedy Central hosted its first rebroadcast last night of Dave Attell's most recent HBO special, Captain Miserable.
If you want to attain a more natural high, just go back in time and remember when you and your favorite comedians were younger, back before they were famous. First up, Sarah Silverman shares with us this photo that shows her and her pals, circa 1993: Todd Barry, Janeane Garofalo, Dave Attell, and Dave Juskow.
And if you think that's something, then please check out this rare footage of a young Jim Carrey, circa mid-1980s (Brezhney, My Three Sons and E.T.?), performing five minutes of facial impersonations for a crowd at The Comedy Store that had no idea what they were seeing.
Oh, to be a young comedian again. Happy days.
Just watched a rebroadcast of HBO's 1995 Young Comedians Show (it'll also air at 10 p.m. Pacific tonight), hosted by Garry Shandling from the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, and featuring a cast of, would you believe, Dave Attell, Eric Tunney, Dave Chappelle, Anthony Clark and Louis CK. Quite a lineup, eh? We know it's 1995 because Shandling jokes about the O.J. Simpson trial and Lorena Bobbitt.
First up, Dave Attell, and we see some now-classic Attell jokes, such as his take on porn ("whatever a man, a woman, another woman with a penis and a midget do..."), how women have all the power "because women have all the vaginas," why men cannot breast-feed, and on the difference between friends and best friends in moving. Only Attell reacts to and works the crowd. "Oh, I found the level?!" he says at one point. Attell jokes about starting to go bald. Smart, but dark stuff. Still true today. And that's why so many comedians love him.
Eric Tunney is a Canadian, and perhaps the only one from this crop that you don't remember. Although his joke about Hitler ruining that mustache certainly has garnered more than a few fans over the years, hasn't it?
Dave Chappelle, even in early 1995, showed enormous talent, and in his opening line, paved the way for years of Aspen jokes about the lack of black people. But he played it big with a lengthy pause before asking, "Where are you hiding all of your black people?" Sharp material on race. He mentions how he spent three years in a small town in Ohio (which he liked more than he'd let on, apparently), tackles the poor choices made in fashioning Wonder Woman as a role model, and closes with his own superhero, Trick Whitey Man.
Anthony Clark, introduced as the college entertainer of the year, would get the first big break of anyone in this special, appearing in several episodes that fall on the Ellen sitcom, followed by his own sitcom the following year in Boston Common. When I saw him cracking up at his own jokes on a panel of Emerson College alums in 2006, I wondered if he had completely lost it. But here he was, back in 1995, cracking himself up as he joked at length about Oklahoma (a topic that Bill Hicks explored in his young comedians special in 1987, by the way), and being in a bad gang in Los Angeles ("the Lemon Slushies").
Louis CK closed the show, and at this point in his career, he was writing for Conan O'Brien and hadn't been married or had kids yet, so you get to see what was on his mind before his family life took over...and that was...random things about living in New York City, forgetting to have money while shopping, and not-so random (as it turns out now) thoughts about masturbation and sex. He jokes about wearing a bathing suit because he ran out of clean underwear. Which reminds me, I have to do laundry tonight.
Dave Attell returns to Comedy Central next week as host of the revamped version of The Gong Show. Here is a preview. We think...if this Comedy Central clip is giving you a hassle, you can always click over to Jezebel (yes, Jezebel), where they managed to grab a clip and rip it themselves. So to speak. Horribly NSFW. Warning: This is not Fantasy Island. That is not da plane, boss.
Dave Attell took the stage at 3:50 a.m. and it seemed perfectly natural. The former host of Comedy Central's Insomniac has the audience of about 60 fans and staff howling. "I'm so glad I got to be here the first night, before you get to reek and stink, and we'd owe the whole thing to Baby Wipes and Purel," he said, although I might not be exactly sure of the wording because I'm laughing too hard and long to get it down before he moves on to the next joke. Attell is mocking us for attempting a world record for a comedy show. You know, instead of doing something important with our time. "Global warming? F#%& that! Let's sit in a comedy club for 15 days!" he said. Has it been that long already?
So you want to be on the new version of The Gong Show with Dave Attell this summer on Comedy Central, do you? Well, then, you might want to know how to go about doing that. The open call specifically cites NBC's America's Got Talent as "too tame" and seeks the most unusual, absurd, bizarre, twisted and unique performers around. Sound like you?
You can email your name, phone number, type of act plus links and/or videos showcasing your act to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can send that info via regular mail to: The Gong Show c/o Hedda Muskat -- Casting Producer, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232.
Or you can call 310-840-5721 and register for one of three open call auditions, where you'll get 1 minute to impress the casting scouts (they note they will have a "boom box" (now that's a phrase I haven't thought of typing anytime this century) for your CD playback needs):
May 19, Las Vegas (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at The V Theatre inside Planet Hollywood, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. South
May 22, New York City (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at Arlene's Grocery, 95 Stanton St.
May 24, Los Angeles (time not specified) at 10601 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City
Anyone hoping, wishing, waiting for Dave Attell to make his return to TV will be happy to learn that the wait will soon be over. Attell returns to Comedy Central on July 17 with the premiere of the new version of The Gong Show.
Yes, that Gong Show.
Here's what Attell had to say to me exclusively about taking over the reins of this talent show gone awry: "The Gong Show is very relevant, because it was in the 70s when the economy was in the sh#$!er and gas was very expensive," he said. "But there's going to be no Fonz to save us this time." Just Attell, I suppose! Back then, he added: "We were going to elect a Democratic lady named Jimmy Carter. A sassy little lady with a heart of gold."
Eight half-hour episodes have been ordered. No word yet on who the "celebrities" will be to make up the judging panel. But if you'd like to take your turn onstage, submissions for contestants are already being accepted at email@example.com.
It's not on your DVRs or TiVos, so here's your official bulletin: Dave Attell will perform tonight on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Attell got the call yesterday. If you do miss it on TV, you can find it online tomorrow on Hulu!
If the lineup for the 7th annual Gerry Red Wilson Foundation comedy benefit didn't warn me, then the crowd waiting outside Town Hall on March 5 should have...as much as the comedians onstage wanted to celebrate and honor their late friend, the audience in the seats wanted jokes about sex and hating their girlfriends/wives.
Host Greg Fitzsimmons, who serves on the foundation board and noted onstage that both his wife and his son have contracted meningitis since Wilson died, had to face the rowdy crowd first. When he said he'd moved to Los Angeles, the crowd booed. "Great. Fine. Boo a city," Fitzsimmons replied. "I hate living there, too. You don't have to tell me." He then surveyed the crowd and found more than a few Opie and Anthony fans, and even more Howard Stern fans. "Why can't they get the (Sirius-XM) merger done?" he wondered. Having surveyed them thusly, Fitzsimmons went straight into dick jokes and stripper jokes and porn jokes. He did get a strong adlib riff out about the spotlight guy's gaffe after a joke about how nobody's having sex with Asian men.
Pete Correale saw the afterwork party crowd and addressed them immediately with bits about drinking and partying, then veered into material about being married and having single friends. He ended his 16-minute set with airplane jokes.
Jim Norton didn't care what the audience wanted. He spent the bulk of his 16 minutes on the 2008 presidential campaign, with thoughts on Hillary Clinton ("She's not a good enough actress to hide what a fraud she is"), Barack Obama, John Edwards, John McCain ("Do you really trust a Vietnam vet with the button?") and Rudy Giuliani. Norton also weighed in on the San Francisco tiger attack from Christmas. These choice bits had immediate repercussions for Nick DiPaolo, who had to follow Norton and still wanted to make his set political. DiPaolo has recently started an online talk radio show, but he managed to remain bitter enough onstage to unleash some questionable bits on race, homosexuality and women. And in case you're wondering, he's also nostalgic for drunk driving and cocaine.
Which proved enough of a transition for Artie Lange. "Do I look tired?" Lange asked. "This is one of those cocaine nights." Lange really needs to get it together. Sure, his fans might be appeased by seeing this mess play out on the radio and onstage, but Lange has to regain some focus on making himself better, not just comedy-wise but also health-wise. He joked about his gambling habits and winning big on the Giants, saying he should've bet that he'd live longer than Heath Ledger. Then he segued into old and beyond hack material on Brokeback Mountain. At least he apologized for it. "Yep. That's the most updated bit I have. I had to use Heath Ledger to get there," he said. Dozens of people stood up and walked out once Lange finished, not to protest him, but because Lange was the only reason they'd come to this show.
Dave Attell, up next, tried to get their attention with: "Who leaves a benefit early? A c*nt, that's who!" Attell tried tackling the tiger attack but the crowd had already heard that from Norton. But Attell turned it around with some choice one-liners and a strong bit about presidential candidates withdrawing early "for the good of the party."
That left it to Louis CK to bring the show home. After an opening line about masturbation, he had the audience in his hands for the next half-hour, with several of the honestly raw hits you'll see in his next "Chewed Up" special.
Fitzsimmons returned with a cardboard checking representing a $50,000 donation to the Meningitis Foundation of America, and said they should have another $20,000 to donate in the coming week. If you'd like to make a donation or learn more:
17 Battery Place, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Starting this afternoon, you can get your hands on tickets before anyone else for the Gerry Red Wilson Comedy Benefit show, to be held March 5 at Town Hall in NYC with performances by Dave Attell, Louis CK, Pete Correale, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Fitzsimmons, Artie Lange, Kevin Meaney and Jim Norton. That's a heckuva lineup.
Tickets for the general public go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. But you can get them now via The Comic's Comic's Comic's Comic's (wait, that's too many comic's) promotional Ticketmaster offer. Click here!
An aspiring TV and stand-up career cut far too short. A native New Yorker, Wilson graduated from Queens College and began teaching in the city's public schools. On nights and weekends, he pursued a career in comedy. He got his first big TV break with ABC and the 1998 midseason replacement sitcom That's Life, and had a development deal with FOX that he was working on another sitcom for when he contracted the disease that took his life.
Seven comedy benefit shows have been held since then, raising more than $200,000 for organizations such as The Meningitis Association of America. Tickets for the March 5 show run from $44.25-$74.25. Donations also can be made directly to the Gerry Red Wilson Foundation by check.
A new day for The Comic's Comic. We now have our own channel on Dailymotion. First up: A slice of life on the Greenwich Village sidewalk outside the Comedy Cellar, in which we capture Robert Kelly asking Dan Naturman about his bedtime ritual. Almost edited the end of this, but decided to leave the plot twisty freaky ending in for fun times, and to show how much I have to learn about multimedia. Look for much much more in the future.
I mentioned seeing Chris Rock at the Comedy Cellar the other night, and while yes, that twas a highlight, twas not the only light sparkling on Jan. 2 in the basement of a beloved Greenwich Village restaurant.
Mike DeStefano, whom I met a year ago in Aspen and immediately noticed his gruff exterior in his response to the comedy industry, and have come to enjoy much more upon repeated listenings, slipped in for a five-minute set at the Cellar so Frank Smiley from Late Night could see him and make sure he'd be ready for Friday's show on Conan.
Wil Sylvince dropped by much later in the night, also purporting to get ready for an upcoming Conan.
And Dave Attell, who I remembered had told me last month that he had a pre-approved date with Conan, was in the house for a regular late-night set. All of which led me to wonder that perhaps that show is banking on comedians to help fill the time while the writers continue to strike. Which ultimately is good for stand-up. Writers may have an issue with Jay Leno, but they're not going to besmirch a stand-up for wanting nationwide TV exposure for work they've already been doing for years. Right?
Also saw Tom Papa, who unleashed a rant about his in-laws and trying to spend New Year's with them, which seemed as much about allowing him to get his feelings out as much as it was about finding new material. He told me afterward that he even let go the night before -- right after it happened -- although Jan. 2 felt weirder to him because his wife (and fellow comedian) sat in the audience to hear him talk about her parents. Hope it worked out for him! Papa also said he'd received overtures from Jay Leno about going on his show soon (as soon as Monday) but worried a bit about the ongoing strike and it not being settled by then.
Dave Attell is watching a clip of himself from Comedy Central's Last Laugh '07 on my cell phone (thank you, Verizon LG Voyager!). He's joking about how the Kardashians are hot and hairy.
"That's good. I can watch that and write that down in case I do Conan again," Attell tells me in a Starbucks in Hell's Kitchen, New York City. Wait. Conan? Is the strike over? Not yet. "But I have to be ready," he said. He booked a date well in advance, and he said if the strike ends in time, he'd need to know what jokes he could get away with on network TV and fast. "Plus, I only have 12 jokes," he said. We know better.
Attell has a new HBO special debuting on Saturday called Captain Miserable. It's his first major TV appearance since wrapping up Insomniac for Comedy Central with a concert stop in Las Vegas. He taped the show this summer in a D.C. theater (the same one Jim Norton taped his recent HBO special in -- did HBO get a package deal there or something?), and already, Attell wonders if the jokes hold up. Sort of. "It was a different world six months ago," he said. "Then we were losing in Iraq. Now we're winning. Lindsay Lohan was in rehab. Now she's running for president."
But seriously. The first time Attell told me about his HBO special, he wondered about the editing process. What was that all about? "It was a hard edit, because the producer lived in L.A., I lived in New York...Plus, I hate watching myself and you have to watch yourself over and over and over and over. So you're already sick of it," he said.
He wonders what I thought of it.
Find out that, what Attell thinks of his jokes, selling himself, kids today and more, after the jump.
Dave Attell's new live-action animation short, Dave's Place, debuts today on Funny or Die. Here's what Attell told me last night about it...
"I want to do a drunken Pee Wee's Playhouse where comics can come in and we have adventures and stuff. I don't know if I've got it right just yet. But it's very cool. The people I work with are really cool," Attell told me. "I got it down to a delicious 3-1/2 minutes -- not the more delicious director's cut that you saw."
Judah Friedlander co-stars as Amazor. Look for a quick glance of Wil Sylvince as the DJ. It's directed by David Rasura, edited by Jeremy Baumann, with music by Bob Golden.
Look for the rest of my interview with Attell later today.
The ongoing Writers Guild strike has lessened our options for topical humor on the TV, but it hasn't stopped Comedy Central and VH1 from mounting their year-end specials. Comedy Central emerged first with last night's debut of Last Laugh '07. It reairs several times this week.
Lewis Black, Dave Attell and D.L. Hughley took on the task, opening with a cartoon bit in which the "Last Laugh Squad" launched an expedition up inside President George W. Bush's ass, wherein they found not only his brain but also secrets. Then Black took the stage, calling 2007 a drug. "We don't even have the time to cover what George Bush did this year," Black said.
As for the actual stand-up?
Attell brought up dogfighting, Al Gore. When someone booed the mention of Gore, Attell replied: "What, do you have some polar bear jacket business you're trying to protect?" A bit about the hot and hairy Kardashians allowed him to weave in his own thoughts on sex and then porn -- you can see and hear all of this uncensored on Attell's HBO special, Captain Miserable, which debuts on Saturday.
Hughley looked casual while ripping into Michael Vick, OJ Simpson, the Chinese toy scandal, the debate over comedians using the word "nigger," Isiah Thomas, the thought of a black president, teachers having sex with students, and kids. Here are highlights...
Then Black was back, and noted how 2007 was the first year we seemed to all agree on global warming, even Bush. "As a result...I'm not sure anymore," Black said. He really got enraged talking about Scooter Libby and his pardon, suggesting that we all get a Get Out Of Jail Free card. Alberto Gonzales, Larry Craig. His idea for a fictional president in 2008 to win the war on terror. Here are highlights from him...
"This year really tested me," Black said as the show went to commercial.
What's left for VH1 to offer with its Best Year Ever on Dec. 14? My best guess (OK, not my best guess, because for the most part, VH1's already taped much of its material) is that VH1 will go lighter and snarkier, particularly with the subject matter. Whereas Lewis Black went darkly political as is his wont and DL Hughley and Dave Attell chose social commentary, the VH1 comedians will skew a bit heavier on the Britney Spears and the sillier scandals and pop-culture moments of the year.
There are morning people, there are night people, and then there’s Dave Attell - best known for his late-night escapades on Comedy Central’s Insomniac yet doomed to a vicious cycle of morning radio interviews to promote his weekend club gigs.
How can he pull it off?
"I guess there’s a lot of ways to adapt,” Attell said. "If you’re in jail, they get you up early.”
Though still a free man, the comic no longer does new episodes of Insomniac, ending his run earlier this year with a Comedy Central special filmed in Las Vegas. That hasn’t stopped Attell from working the circuit and hitting lots of bars.
"I’m doing a new show called 'Why Aren’t You Doing That Show Anymore?’” he said.
At that moment, the front desk at his hotel in Orlando, Fla., called to tell him he would have to switch rooms.
"Somebody has the jones for this room,” he said. "I’ll just take whatever room you give me, but I just wonder what kind of people say, 'I have a loveless marriage. Can you give me a room with double beds?’”
Later this month, Attell reunites with Lewis Black (they did a nationwide theater tour two years ago) for a performance at the new HBO Comedy Festival in Las Vegas.
He enjoys watching HBO’s Rome - "So is Christ going to show up at the end? Is he going to do a walk-on?” - and is pulling for the success of comic Louis CK’s new show.
"At the end of the day, it comes down to the American people, and they want to see Amy Grant granting wishes,” Attell said.
That’s not a bad thing, but he said the wishes usually are pretty tame. ”It’s never, you know, I’d like a three-way,” he said.
Which is why Attell remains a late-night kind of guy.