May 21, 2005

Dave Attell Brings “The Insomniac Tour” to Chicago’s Congress Theater

By Randy J. Klodz

Dave Attell, most known as host of the hilarious Comedy Central late-night program “Insomniac with Dave Attell,” brought out the big laughs as his stand-up comedy tour, dubbed “The Insomniac Tour,” came through Chicago’s Congress Theater on May 21.

While most comics exude a knack for observing people, Dave Attell tends to take things a bit further. Take singer Ashlee Simpson. In his 80-minute routine, Attell said that Ashlee Simpson’s music “is so bad it won’t go in my iPod,” while in the next breath referring to himself as a “D-level celebrity.” It’s one thing for comics to take shots at pop culture icons, but it’s refreshing when a comic such as Attell can also poke fun at himself.

In Attell’s Comedy Central show “Insomniac with Dave Attell,” Attell and his crew take over cities across the nation in search of nightlife, including bars and clubs. And what most often occurs in bars and clubs? Drinking and smoking. Attell has both of these down pat. In fact, Attell commented that “it’s so great that there’s a lot of drinking on my show, because people often buy me drinks.” During the show, a fan delivered Attell an unopened can of Miller Lite as a sign of appreciation.

The health conscious Attell also poked fun at the practice many states have adopted where cigarette prices are raised in an attempt to deter people from smoking. But this logic doesn’t fool Attell. “People don’t stop buying cigarettes,” he told the crowd, “they just spend less money on things like vitamins and fruit.”

During his routine, Attell also disclosed plans for a new reality show that he described as “half ‘Fear Factor’, half ‘Elimidate,’” and described the feeling he had in what he called “a religious spring break” during the time we were “Pope-less for two weeks.”

Attell also made light of the “Runaway bride” headlines, what he called “nosey flower people” that he said should offer a new arrangement called “the Kobe Bryant bouquet,” his new favorite dog-themed shade of red, and his sincere appreciation for what he called “sweet, sweet pineapple.”

The tipsy audience loved every minute of Attell’s set, and often he was left as the leader of a Q&A session, as fans often chimed in with comments. One female fan extended her gratitude and approached the stage. She asked Attell if she could “come up on stage,” and although Attell played along for a few seconds, the stage was Attell’s only. Attell ended his set with a shout-out to Mitch Hedberg, the late comic that often appeared on Comedy Central programming.

Comedian/actor Sean Rouse and Chicago-native comedienne Patty Vazquez warmed the stage for Dave Attell. “The Insomniac Tour” runs through July 7 when Dave Attell visits the House of Blues in Las Vegas. Check local listings for air times of Comedy Central’s “Insomniac with Dave Attell.” For more information on Dave Attell log on to

Dave Attell Photo: c/o Comedy Central