Tuesday, October 22

Wiltern next stop on comedians’ road trek


For comedians Dave Attell and Lewis Black, the road is home and
room service is a man’s best friend. It’s not exactly
“road sweet road,” but the two stand-up comics have
built a high tolerance for the traveling life.

“(The schedule) hasn’t changed in 15 years,”
Black said. “It’s about 45 weeks a year (on the
road).”

Their growing familiarity with airports and interstate highways
is one of the reasons why they have been paired together for the
Comedy Central Live tour, which makes its way to the Wiltern
Theatre this Friday at 8 p.m. The two road warriors have also been
winning over fans with their gigs on Comedy Central, making this
jaunt across America a mere formality.

Aside from their occasional guest appearances on “Tough
Crowd with Colin Quinn,” Attell and Black will be familiar to
viewers from their work on “Insomniac with Dave Attell”
and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” respectively. On
“Insomniac,” Attell jumps from one town to another,
cavorting with the local night owls and introducing viewers to the
local bars, their house specials and their drinking traditions.

“Right now I’m in New Orleans,” Attell said in
a phone interview. “This is one of my favorite cities because
drinking isn’t looked down upon here. Everybody drinks in
this town.”

According to Attell, the show aims to visit Smalltown, U.S.A.
rather than a large metropolis. Los Angeles, for example, is not
the most ideal destination to shoot the show because there is a
higher risk of being recognized by locals and conversely,
recognizing the locals.

“The only time we’ve had celebrities on the show was
when we went to the porn awards,” Attell said.

With a communications degree from NYU, Attell excels at the art
of telling sex jokes, with masturbation frequently entering into
the discussion. “Nobody is as perversely funny as he
is,” Black confirmed.

While both comedians are as irreverent as they come, Black
focuses on political, rather than biological imperatives. Black is
regularly featured on “The Daily Show” in a segment
called “Back in Black,” where he basically goes ape on
social injustices and incompetence.

“(“˜The Daily Show’) is like “˜The
Onion,’ when people finally started reading “˜The
Onion,’” Black said. “A lot of it came from Jon
(Stewart) going out and doing the work to get us an
audience.”

Black’s vein-popping, bile-spewing tirades have also
helped the show broaden its fan base. His belly of fire derives
from his inability to understand what’s going on in
society.

“I don’t get it,” Black said. “I
don’t think I’ll ever get it. This is
inbred.”

Off-stage, Black is just a tad less angry as evidenced by his
interactions with people on the street.

“Occasionally people ask, “˜How come you’re not
doing the finger thing?’” Black said, alluding to his
trademark habit of aggressive finger-pointing. “I just look
at them like they’re psychotic.”

As a theater student at the University of North Carolina Chapel
Hill, Black had intended to become a playwright, a profession he
pursued for 20 years. Eventually, he found that stand-up was what
he really wanted to do.

“I wasn’t very comfortable on stage,” Black
said. “Once I started shouting, I got comfortable.”

Attell and Black will perform stand-up for Comedy Central
Live at the Wiltern Friday, Nov. 21. Tickets are available by
calling (213) 480-3232 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

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