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Dave Attell
Dave Attell, USAF crop.jpg
Attell entertains US soldiers at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, September 2005
Born January 18, 1965 (1965-01-18) (age 44)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Years active 1988–present
Genres Blue comedy, Insult comedy, Black comedy
Influences Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Steven Wright, Richard Jeni,[1] Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Redd Foxx, Don Rickles,[2] Colin Quinn[3]

Dave Attell (born January 18, 1965) is an American stand-up comedian and the host of Comedy Central's Insomniac with Dave Attell and The Gong Show with Dave Attell.



Stand-up beginning

A young Attell during the formative years of Comedy Central in the 1990s.

Born in Queens, New York, he grew up in Rockville Centre, New York and now lives in New York City. Attell's initial motivation to perform stand-up comedy is attributed to his indecisiveness as to what he should do after college. In 1987 he graduated from New York University with a degree in communications. Like many other fledgling comedians, he worked menial jobs during the day and put in his time at comedy clubs at night. He worked his first gig at Governor's in Levittown and, according to Attell, "totally bombed". After years of honing his act, he found himself being described as "the comedian's comedian". When working a club, the other comedians, such as Michael Royce (a producer/writer on Everybody Loves Raymond), David Juskow (a performer on TV Funhouse), Kevin Brennan (from Saturday Night Live and HBO's One Night Stand) and Jon Stewart, would come in to watch his act. While the audience didn't always follow his up-front delivery, fellow comedians were refreshed by his originality.

Attell often begins a joke in a relatively tame way, but then gets progressively stranger and ends in an obscene non sequitur. For example: "Sex is not important. What's important is that afterward part. When you're both naked and it's warm and you're watching the sun come up in the windshield. You look in her eyes, you look in her one good eye and help her strap on her leg and you know: you just fucked a pirate."[4]

Attell is also notorious for comedically striking down hecklers to the point of embarrassment. Attell dated comedienne Sarah Silverman for a time prior to both of their respective professional primes and major fame. When asked about the relationship on The Howard Stern Show, she remarked that he was her first real boyfriend, saying among other things that he hadn't even smoked cigarettes before they started their relationship. Several weeks later Attell confirmed that she introduced him to "his two favorite things, alcohol and smoking", adding his belief that "Sarah was out of his league and ended up leaving him."[5][6]


Attell's first appearance on television was in 1988 on VH1's Stand-Up Spotlight, which also featured early appearances by Lewis Black, Margaret Cho, Jeff Garlin, Jay Mohr and Wanda Sykes. The show was hosted by Rosie O'Donnell.

But perhaps his biggest break to date was achieved on November 23, 1993 when he made his debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. The appearance was seen by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, who then recruited Attell to be a writer, and occasional performer, on SNL (you can see Attell behind Chris Farley during the famous "Rudy Giuliani Inauguration" sketch). Attell worked on the show for the '93-'94 season.

In 1995 Attell was featured on two HBO specials: alongside up-and-comers Louis C.K., Anthony Clark, Eric Tunney and Dave Chappelle, he was a featured performer on the 1995 Young Comedians Special, hosted by Garry Shandling. He was also given his own 60-minute special on the channel's "HBO Comedy Showcase". Subsequently, Attell was also given an episode of HBO Comedy Half-Hour in 1997.

Also in 1995, Attell appeared as Squiggly Dave on Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, kicking-off a long-standing relationship between Attell and Comedy Central. In 1999 the network issued Attell an installment in their ever-popular Comedy Central Presents series.

The same year the network signed him on as a regular commentator on their satirical news show The Daily Show. When he arrived in 1999, the show was just finding its audience after the departure of host Craig Kilborn and the arrival of Jon Stewart, an old friend of Attell's from the New York comedy circuit. The three-year stint gave Attell access to a mass audience on a regular basis (The Daily Show has done much the same for comedians Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Lewis Black and others). Attell's series of commentary on the show was called "The Ugly American".

In 2003 Attell began appearing semi-regularly on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. The show featured many of the performers he works with every day at the underground comedy club the Comedy Cellar and is based on the conversations they would have off-stage at the Olive Tree Cafe, the restaurant above the club. The unscripted show was canceled in November 2004 due to poor ratings and controversial subject matter.

In 2007 Attell appeared in the Michael Addis film, Heckler. Heckler is a comedic feature documentary exploring the increasingly critical world we live in. Attell appeared on Comedy Central's Last Laugh in 2007.

In July 2008 Attell begins hosting The Gong Show with Dave Attell for Comedy Central. Like the 1970's version, the show will have a rotating panel of celebrity judges grading unusual acts. [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Other notable television roles for Attell:

Attell has also been on numerous talk shows, including The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Last Call with Carson Daly. He is also a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show.

In 2010, he will co-host the AVN Awards show, along with porn actresses Kirsten Price and Kayden Kross.[12]


Attell played the roles of "Don" in Los Enchiladas! The film was written, produced and directed by his friend, comedian Mitch Hedberg, and co-starred with Hedberg as well as fellow comedians Todd Barry and Marc Maron.

In the short film The Office Party, Attell once again played the role of "Don". The film co-starred ex-Karate Kid/Outsider Ralph Macchio, Jon Stewart, Carol Kane and Tate Donovan. The film was written and directed by Daily Show producer Chiara Edmands.

Pootie Tang saw Attell as the bumbling corporate lackey, "Frank". The film was written and directed by fellow comedian Louis C.K.. It co-starred Lance Crouther, Wanda Sykes and Chris Rock among others.

Attell also played "Efram the Driver" in the Independent feature My Suicidal Sweetheart, written and directed by filmmaking newcomer Michael Parness. The film co-starred Natasha Lyonne, David Krumholtz, Tim Blake Nelson, Lorraine Bracco, David Paymer and Rosanna Arquette.

Also Dave Attell had a cameo appearance in the film Abby Singer as well as Scary Movie 4.

Though not a film, the video game Outlaw Golf 2 featured the voice of Attell as the Color Commentator.

He plays the character Barker in the 2008 comedy film Harold.

Insomniac with Dave Attell

Insomniac with Dave Attell is Attell's television show. The show, described by Attell as "Wild On E! for Ugly People", features Attell walking the streets of America's (later the world's) greatest (and some not-so-great) cities late at night, meeting the people in a haze of ecstatic inebriation. The show occasionally went overseas.

The American cities featured on the show were New York City (4 times), San Francisco, Miami, Kansas City, New Orleans, Houston, Baltimore, Memphis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Boise, Charlotte, Reno, Atlanta, Phoenix, Charleston (WV), Myrtle Beach, Portland, Albuquerque, Nashville, Anchorage, Cleveland, Little Rock, Oakland, Long Island, Columbus, Honolulu, Austin (2 times), Key West, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

The non-American cities featured on the show were Tijuana, Montreal, Toronto, Dublin, London, Amsterdam and specials that took place in Tokyo, Berlin and Rio de Janeiro.

The most common activity (besides roaming the street aimlessly and visiting bars) was visiting workers on their night shifts. Instead of spending time with gas station attendants, he went searching for odd professions to highlight. Among them were crime-scene cleaners, bail bondsmen, cow-milkers, brothel-hookers, bicycle cops, coal miners and porn overdubbers. Memorable episodes include a visit to Chicago's world-famous The Wieners Circle, where the staff routinely got in cursing matches with their customers, and a visit to a Phoenix nudist camp.

Throughout the run of the show, Attell carried around a one-time-use film camera and took pictures of random events, which would be shown during the end-credits.

The future of the show is not known, but Attell has said that he decided to more-or-less end Insomniac because the show had gotten too popular to establish a level of spontaneity. As soon as he would walk into a bar with a camera crew, crowds would surround them, desperate to be on his television show. He has said, though, that people aren't so aware of his show overseas, so he would more than likely do a few specials in other countries.


Attell can be seen touring occasionally. He is a mainstay on the New York comedy circuit and performs several times a week at the Comedy Cellar.

Attell's first one-hour special, Captain Miserable, aired December 8, 2007 on HBO.

In May 2008 Attell announced a casting call on his MySpace page for Comedy Central's relaunch of The Gong Show. Attell was host, along with Greg Fitzsimmons serving as head writer on the series. However, since the show began, The Gong Show with Dave Attell was cancelled.

He is also a mainstay on the USO circuit.

Attell performed at Funny for Fido, a benefit to help homeless animals in New York City, on June 3, 2009.



External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Dave Attell (born January 18, 1965, in Rockville Centre, New York) is a stand-up comedian.



"Skanks For The Memories"

  • Is she crazy, like it says on her bracelet, or is she just looking at my sheets? I dunno!
  • People are so defensive, especially women, ya know. C’mon ladies. I offered a girl a tic-tac one time. Ya know what she says to me “Oh do I need one? Is it my breath? Do you think I need one?” I’m like, I’m just trying to be nice. If I was going to give you something you needed I would give you mustache wax and a t-shirt that says ‘One Cock at a Time.’"
  • Sex is not that important; it's the afterward part when you're naked and it's warm. Watching the sun come up through the windshield you look in her good eye and you help strap on her leg and you know: you fucked a pirate.
  • My cousin had a baby and I was watching her breastfeed for a couple of bucks, and I'll tell you ladies: it's amazing.
  • They have a luggage store at the airport? I mean, how late do you have to be running? Don't worry honey just grab a pile of shit... we'll get a bag at the airport!"
  • I used to do drugs, but that was way back there.
  • Sparklers are the gay cousins of the fireworks family. I think a flashlight is more dangerous than a sparkler. My friends got M-80s, bottle rockets, ammonium nitrate, manure, a rented van. They're blowing shit up, getting things done. I'm walking around with a sparkler like the Special Olympics torch-boy.
  • Never let a woman put a condom on ya. Do it yourself fellas. It's embarrassing. “Oh look, oh look there’s still more room! Ha Ha Ha! We could tie it off and use it again and again. Cause you’ve got a small penis; and I know, cause I work with children.”
  • Every man wonders about the size of their penis. Laying in bed alone at night, or in a hammock with a parrot. You start thinking, “Do I have a small penis or just gigantic balls?”
  • You ever hang out all night long and then you go home a little early? Then you get that call the next day? You know that call: “You shoulda hung out man!” “What happened?!” “Ohhh! 10 minutes after you left.” It’s always 10 minutes after you leave when the all fun shows up. Like the fun-mobile is a block behind ya at all times. Full of strippers, and midgets, and balloons. And every type of fun imaginable. “10 minutes after you left, the Dixie Chicks broke in and fucked everybody. Even the fat boy with asthma wearing the Babylon 5 tee-shirt got a hand job. And it’s never gonna happen again. After I heard that I started to cry; mostly cause I sat on my balls.
  • Eggnog, who thought that one up? "I wanna get a little drunk, but I also want some pancakes." You know what eggnog really is. You're not gonna want to hear it, but I'll tell ya. It's elf cum. You might as well pour it down your back and slap your self on the ass.
  • I'm very romantic when I masturbate. I light some candles. Then I try to shoot them out when I'm done. Never invite me to a birthday party.
  • So, I travel a lot. I hate traveling, mostly cause my dad used to beat me with a globe.
  • Ladies, is it really the size of a man's penis that matters? Is it? (some girls cheer) Well, the whores have spoken. Some woman say yes, some women say "no, it's how he uses his penis." How he uses it? What is this man doing with his magical penis? Is he building things and fighting terrorism? "A gazebo, how did that get in here?!" "Don't thank me." What if a man doesn't have a penis, but three balls, and one of them lights up and plays a tune? Does he ever get laid?! DO YOU FUCK HIM FOR THE STORY?!
  • I was in Dayton, Ohio. You ever been there? Ya? You know what’s a fun thing to do there? Pack up and get the fuck outa there. It’s boring. During the day we played the game of horseshoes. That game must have been invented before fun, ‘cause it’s not. There’s only two ways for that game to end, either "This sucks let’s do something else," or "Owww, you hit me with the horseshoe."
  • Don't get me wrong, I like to cuddle. But there is such a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so that they can't get away.
  • I'm sitting in the bus station, minding my own business, reading ‘Ta-Da!’ magazine; a magazine by and for gay magicians, but that's a different story.
  • If I had a kid, I’d give him a name that would make everyone would want to say his name. I’d call him, Pizza-Pussy-Santa. I would! Cause everybody likes one of those things.
  • Everyone was laughin’. Even that deaf mute boy was breathing heavy and pointing at me. Which is laugher to their kind.
  • Pre-mature ejaculation. Let’s talk about it. Pre-mature ejaculation. That’s a pretty fancy term for, “Ooooooh Oh no. This has never happened before.”
  • The sun comes up and so does your dick. Cause at heart your dick’s a farmer!
  • Ever make fun of someone so much that you feel you should thank them for all the good times? I've got a midget friend, an albino friend, and another friend who thinks "Lord of the Rings" is real. Together we call ourselves "the Unfuckables."
  • Tattoos are cool because they don’t belong on your body, but you put it there to say something about yourself. Much like my rolls of fat. That shit does not belong on a human body. And I put it there to say something about me. I don’t like fruit. I don’t like it! Long bike ride? I’m out. Hot dog eating contest? I’m listening.
  • I think pot should be legal, I do. I also think if your cousin is super-hot, you should be able to fuck one time.
  • Even now, as we speak, people are having sex with animals. And we wonder why the animals attack us.
  • Remember when you're young and you think your dad is Superman? And then you grow up and realized he's just a drunk who wears a cape.
  • You should've hung out, man.
  • I'm very romantic when I masturbate. Sometimes I light a candle...then I try and shoot it out. It's like a carnival.
  • Some things are the same wherever you go. Like, if it feels like more than two fingers, it's probably a dick.
  • If you see a man running down the street cock-flapping, you run with that man. 'Cause there is some scary shit coming the other way.
  • Amish Sex - Oh Jebbadiah, give it to me you Abraham Lincoln lookin motherfucker
  • She was drunk so I took her back to my place and we did it doggy style, not because we planned it that way, but that's just how she passed out.

Comedy Central Presents: Dave Attell

  • You gotta make your own fun (Audience member cheers). That's right, listen to that mother of two, she knows what I'm talking about.
  • You know what my drink is? Jack Daniel's. Yes, that is a wild man drink. That should come with bail money, you know what I'm saying? Because on Jack, you don't know where you're going to end up, but you know when you get there, you won't be wearing any pants.
  • I'm drinking Jack and I started blackin out. You ever black out? Or as I call it, time travel? You ever do that? Oh yeah! You know how it is -- you're drinking, you black out. You wake up, you're in another bar. You're drinking, you black out. You wake up, you're playing that knife game with a half-Indian somewhere in North Dakota, "Yeah! Yeah! Winner fixes the tranny! Yeah". You're drinking, you black out. You wake up, you're in White Castle -- working there 3 years, STILL not assistant manager. Your buddies tell you to quit, but you can't 'cause you're banging the slow girl on the fry-o-later. They say she's a little retarded, but those titties ain't retarded!
  • This one guy, the worse guy in the music. The Yanni man. You know Yanni? First of all, anyone who looks like a magician and doesn't do magic, I don't like. I don't even like magic, I hate it. But I love the word, "Ta-da"! I love that word! I don't get to say it, right? I never do any magic. You just cant go around walking, "Ta-da!" "Ta-da!" "Ta-da!" The only time I can say it is when I do something really stupid or surprising. Like if I go out all night drinking and hitting strip clubs and I come home and I still got some money .... "Ta---da!" I thought I was broke. Why does my jaw hurt?
  • Some people are against porno movies. And I say hey, Ohio, Kentucky, and Iran: I say, hey - whatever a man, and a woman, and another woman with a penis and a midget do to a donkey, that's their garsh-darn business.
  • You see a guy with one leg, he's got a story. "Land mine '69." You see a guy with one arm, he's got a story, too. "Snow blower, bottle of whiskey." You see a guy with one tooth, what would the story be? "Well, uh, I like a lot of taffy."
  • (talking about how girls like mystery) Next time your lady leaves the room, take a dump on the floor! 'Cuz there is nothing more mysterious than a dump on the floor! And it always starts a conversation, am I right? Honey, what happened? You better hold me 'cause I'm afraid.
  • I masturbate! I do it like I think if I keep doing it, I'm gonna win something.
  • Sometimes you need a cigarette. Like after you have sex with a beautiful woman or a confused young man.
  • Sex and murder are the same. Well, you say the same after both don't you? "Damn I got to get the hell out of here!""What was I thinking!"
  • Never drink alone, that's what they say. But you know what? If you drink you will never be alone, alright? People will find you, and that's when all the bad stuff happens, right? Just sittin around, doin nuthin, right? You know what happened one time? Drunk, nothin to do. I end up doing what? My penis in my fishtank, alright? No, i did it just to show them who's boss, alright? They were gettin a little uppity. Even the diver guy stopped bubblin, he's like 'bleh??' Then, they hid in the castle. And like all good times, it always ends when your grandma walks in, doesn't it? 'Get that dick outta the fishtank!! Time for supper!'

"Captain Miserable"

  • Ever wrestle your dog 'til you cum?
  • Florida looks like a gigantic penis! Doesn't it? Have you ever googled it? It looks like a gigantic peener! About to shoot a load of freedom all over Cuba. A bukkake of choices and ideas.
  • That was funny, yet sad. Kind of like getting tit-fucked by a clown.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Dave Attell (born January 18, 1965) is an American comedian and host of the TV show "Insomniac with Dave Attell", shown on Comedy Central in the United States.

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