Month: November 2005

Up late with Dave Attell

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?”...

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Larry David, meet Yoshi Obayashi

Nothing can quite prepare you for an actual conversation with Larry David. Even having the HBO media rep tell me that Larry was about to call me to talk for my story, even watching his TV shows. Afterward, the HBO rep called me back to apologize for how surreal that must’ve been. Well, let me just say this. Talking to Larry David is just like you might imagine it. While everyone around him on Curb Your Enthusiasm is improvising, Larry David is being Larry David. Take that, Manny Ramirez and your Manny being Manny. Larry actually began our chat by saying he didn’t want to talk to me because "I was just in the Boston newspapers" last week. And so he was. But I had to find out for myself how the real Yoshi Obayashi, an aspiring stand-up comic who I recall from our days together in the Seattle comedy scene, found his name and signature opening line in the premise for a recent Curb episode. This story is a follow-up on my blog posting of Oct. 18, headlined, "Coincidence?" ‘Enthusiasm’ for kamikaze shtick shocks L.A. comic (Boston Herald)It’s sometimes hard to tell fact from fiction on Larry David’s critically acclaimed HBO comedy, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”Especially when they collide.Yoshi Obayashi, an L.A.-based stand-up comedian, saw something a little too familiar in the “Kamikaze Bingo” episode, which first aired Oct....

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It’s The Aristocrats!

Anyone who really wants to understand the psyche of the stand-up comedian, the process of constructing a stand-up set and the business behind the show business — well, you should see the 2002 documentary Comedian. That movie is full of insight. The Aristocrats, on the other hand, exists more as a way to turn what inherently is a subjective form of entertainment — what you think is funny isn’t what everyone else thinks is funny — into something more scientific and objective. See how dozens of different comedians tackle the same premise. In doing so, maybe you’ll find out more about the comedian telling the joke. Or not. I finally saw the film on the big screen (thank you, Coolidge Corner Theatre), and the highlights for me were those moments in which you got to see which comedians really have creative genius in their corner. Among those moments, again for me… — George Carlin, getting self-analytical mid-routine— Gilbert Gottfried, more for his explanations of the joke than for his 2001 live performance of the joke at the Comedy Central roast that reportedly inspired the documentary— Eric Mead turning card tricks for his joke (impressive on that level alone)— Billy The Mime, because he didn’t care about being on a public boulevard— Dana Gould’s discussions all around the joke— Bob Saget, not for showing his true stand-up self (because anyone...

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