In this late-night traveling show, "Tour guide" Dave Attell visits late night spots (including bars, strip clubs, and clubs) and talks to whoever he finds. There's no home base for the show, as Dave is shown in different locations throughout North America each week. The average "guest" to the show could be naked, cross dressing, or just completely drunk. Written by
Due to budgetary constraints, composer/music producer Bob Golden had Dave Attell speak/sing the song's lyric for the demo recording. The network liked it so much that the demo became the final broadcast theme song with no revisions - Attell's original vocal performance remains. See more »
Usually when you hear a laugh like that, it comes with a chainsaw.
See more »
***Reader Discretion Advised*** 'Insomniac' is a somewhat surprising and odd choice for a series Dave Attell chose to showcase his comic talents. It is essentially the Comedy Central version of E!'s 'Wild On ' where the bald, acerbic slacker comedian walks the streets and wanders into bars, clubs, parties, and festivals, observing the nightlife of cities around the country and sometimes the world.
Attell was poised to breakout big with his terrific stand-up special and recurring spots on 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'. I can't help but think that this show is more a buffer than an accelerator in his career. As funny and edgy as his act is it doesn't translate to this format with everything intact. The humor seems, if you can believe it in this setting, more homogenized or mainstreamed. It's base-level, dumbed down stuff without Attell's usual razor sharp edge, probably to appeal to the 'Girls Gone Wild' Comedy Central demographic. 'Insomniac' shows a kindler, gentler Dave Attell and we are supposed to go along with it because, after all, Attell is at bars, in clubs, around hookers and alcohol and things that Comedy Central just thinks are inherently funny. "Show them and your show will be cool" is the law of the land, no matter how lame your accompanying commentary is. And some of Attell's comments are shockingly lame. Quite a slide from a guy who once advocated that men in his audience spice up their love life by going home and "taking a dump" in the corner so their partner will think there was a wild animal loose in the house. Now that's funny.
Attell selflessly steps back and lets the regular street folks he meets take the spotlight and get the laughs (theoretically). Instead of poking fun at them, he looks into the camera and asks if we'd like to "go over and say hello". The show works best when Attell plays straight man to the ridiculousness around him. When he stands around as a common American while everyone else makes fools of themselves. Or when he tours a burlesque house or a New Orleans fetish parlor with the seriousness of a National Geographic safari, asking question we're all thinking but seem to inane to wonder aloud. That's when the show is really in high gear. Sometimes the old colloquial Attell comes out. He describes Rio De Janeiro as being "like the Super Bowl and the World Series banging each other on top of a pool table".
The show is put together in such a standard and distracting way that it takes away from any feeling of actually being there. We get a lot of quick cutting to Attell's comments (I wouldn't call them wise-cracks or one-liners) as he goes from one scene to the next. No technique is to cornball for the editors as we get more then a few scenes of Attell walking in fast motion through the crowd.
As a fan of Attell's I'd like to see him take a sharper and more prominent role. This is a potential firecracker of comedy, ripe with commentary and satire. I'd like to see Attell grab it by the throat and shake it until the party favors fall to the floor. Instead he serves as our passive tour guide. Without that twist it's just another Girls Gone Wild or 'Wild On '. Come one, this is Comedy Central, not the Travel Channel after 10:00. The show is kind of fun to watch, I'll be the first to admit, but it's little more than a time-passer and could have
no should have - been so much funnier.
* * / 4
2 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?