By G. Michael Dobbs
If you have been to one of his shows or watched his act on cable, you know that comedian Dave Attell will take you to some pretty edgy places, so his television series, "Dave's Old Porn" will not be for everyone.
Attell will be returning to the Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee on Oct. 6 for two shows at 7:30 and 11 p.m.
His show is entering its second season on Showtime and Attell described it as "basically 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' with retro porn." Instead of having hand puppets riff on bad movies, though, Attell invites fellow comics and some of the performers from the movies made 30 years ago to comment on clips from films.
Some of the comics on the second season of the show include Artie Lange, Kathy Griffin, Joe Rogan, Marc Maron and Andy Dick. He noted that convincing current adult performers to appear on the show is easy, but landing the "legends is trickier."
"They really are like heroes to me," Attell said. "They were important at a lonely time in my life."
Attell came up with the idea for the show several years ago and produced a pilot for another network, which ultimately passed on it.
He added the show is all unscripted. Although he watches the clips before, he and his guest comics don't plan quips for what they see.
He described the show as "jokes, porn and fun" and added with understatement, "It's not a deep discussion show."
"It's a tribute to some amazing work," Attell explained.
He selects the films some from his own collection buys the rights for the scenes they use and then tape about an hour's worth of remarks with the guests, which are edited to a half-hour program. Attell is involved in the editing as well.
"I'm having a good time doing it," he added. "This is the perfect project to do in these politically correct times."
Although Attell has been busy with the production of the new season, he has a busy schedule of stand-up planned.
"I've got a lot of weekends coming up," he said.
He enjoys getting on stage and crafting new material, but he has noticed that many audiences "want more of a performance [of familiar material]."
Attell said, "Comedy is not made that way."
He's also involved with the "Anti-Social Comedy Tour" co-starring Jim Norton, Artie Lange and Amy Schumer. "It's no "Blue Collar Comedy Tour,'" Attell said, stressing it was definitely for adults only.
"It's a nice colonic for the soul," he said with a laugh.
Between technology and social media, being a comic today has some interesting twists and turns. Attell said a young comic might be able to have a video that goes viral and sell out a venue, but doesn't yet have the comic skills to satisfy a live audience.
The ever-increasing presence of cell phones is also a trend comics don't like as audiences use them during a performance, he noted.
While fellow comic Louis C.K. is a hero to Attell for avoiding ticketing agencies and selling tickets to his recent tour exclusively through his own website, he admitted that being on Facebook, creating videos and posting to Twitter is a lot of work.
"It's [comedy] becoming more self-promotion than just stand-up," he said.
Attell doesn't fault young people today for being so plugged in.
He noted that if he had had the Internet when he was younger, "I wouldn't have left my room."