Before you get outraged, the humor of this joke is on the surface; it’s funny because confused bigotry is funny.
Dave 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, and Wanda Sykes.
I first noticed Attell with his inspired Comedy Central show, Insomniac With Dave Attell (2001-2004) that always began with a clip of Attell doing a comedy club set featuring his wry, observational humor followed by some late-night misadventures around the city he was performing in.
Insomniac With Dave Attell was described by Attell as:
Wild on E! for Ugly People.
Attell walking the streets of America’s cities late at night, meeting the people in a haze of ecstatic inebriation was funny. It shouldn’t have been, but it never failed to make me gasp and make me laugh.
Besides roaming the street aimlessly and ducking in to bars, Attell would visit workers on their night shifts, searching for odd professions including: crime-scene cleaners, bail bond services, cow milkers, coal miners, and porn voice-over dubbers even a bondsman.
Attell’s brand of vulgarity is smartly executed yet totally unintellectualized. His comedy isn’t about exposing the ugliness of the world or saying the horrible things everyone is thinking. He says offensive things just because he finds it hilarious. He’s definitely a throwback to another era of standup, offering up observations that should get you in trouble nowadays on Twitter; jokes about special needs, “midgets”, anal beads, delivered with such blunt, off-the-cuff panache it’s hard not laugh.
Attell is playing Caroline’s On Broadway in New York City Christmas week. Catch him with his friend Jeff Ross, another filthy comic, on Bumping Mics With Jeff Ross & Dave Attell: A Netflix Original, streaming starting next week.