Dave Attell is making his R-rated way back to Comedy Central with a new stand-up special — and more. The underrated stand-up vet and former Insomniac host hits the stage(s) in Road Work, a one-hour special that is culled from gigs in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Minneapolis, New Brunswick, N.J., and Chicopee, Mass. Road Work boasts a lo-fi, guerrilla vibe and even features some camerawork by audience members. “This is the new normal. I’m broke,” Attell quips to EW, adding: “I’m a club comic and I just didn’t want to do a special that’s in a big theater. I wanted to do it kind of like I do the comedy itself — on the road, in clubs — and that’s a cool look. It’s refreshing.” And it sounds like Attell will be working in his creatively crude sweet spot. “I’m going to hit all the numbers — porn, drinking jokes, and more porn,” he says. “It is a win-win.”
Attell’s return to Comedy Central won’t just be a one-night stand, though. He’s also hosting an uncensored stand-up showcase series, Comedy Underground With Dave Attell, which premieres Saturday night at 1 a.m., immediately following Road Work. Shot at Manhattan’s Village Underground, Comedy Underground will offer up sets by comics such as Kurt Metzger, Joe DeRosa, and Pete Davidson, as well as names like Judah Friedlander, Ralphie May, and Nikki Glaser, plus special guests like Jeffery Ross, Amy Schumer, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. “When they explained it to me that it was uncensored and unfiltered, I was in,” Attell says of signing on to the stand-up series, which will not bleep profanity in its late-night slot. “Especially for the younger comics coming up, there are very little places to do dirty comedy. We live in such a PC world that this stuff is like an endangered species — you want to stare at it and protect it. I figured this was a good place for the younger ones and some of the old road dogs like me to get out some of that dirty, naughty stuff.”
And who does he think will tune in to Comedy Underground at that hour? “It would be somewhere between third-shift workers and people who are just questioning themselves and life,” he says. “That’s who the show is for — the lost souls, the broken toys, the people who see the humor in all things.” What about stoners and drunks? “I was trying to romanticize it, but I guess you could say: People whose Xboxes are broken, anybody who has a podcast, the usual suspects — stoners, drunks — and I assume the Goth community will support it. There’s darkness in the basement. It looks very menacing.”
To step into the comedy light and see Attell tell a few jokes to a Philly crowd about the absurdity of arresting potheads and the day-after dangers of eating a cheesesteak, check out this slightly NSFW clip from Road Work.