Comedian Dave Attell has done his own hourlong HBO special, appeared on Leno and Letterman, written for and appeared on "Saturday Night Live," done five USO tours and performed for charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project.
But it is the Comedy Central cult classic "Insomniac With Dave Attell" that he is most often remembered for. On the air for four seasons between 2001 and 2004, the show sent Attell to cities around the world, where he would drink and chain-smoke until morning. One episode even featured Long Island.
It was bombing at Governor's Comedy Club in the late '80s that the Rockville Centre native has to thank for paving the way for all his successes. And this weekend, the 46-year-old comic returns to the Levittown club where he cut his teeth.
ON WHAT HAPPENED TO "INSOMNIAC"
I just stopped doing it. I'm old. It's kind of sad seeing an old guy doing that. . . . I guess that's my "Gilligan's Island." People always ask me about the show.
ON THE LONG ISLAND EPISODE
We started in the Hamptons and we tried to barhop all the way to Brooklyn. We had a designated driver, so it was on the up and up. That was a different time. Now, who can afford to do that? Gas is more expensive than drinks.
ON WHETHER HE STILL DRINKS
No . . . my kidney's shot. . . . I'm holding onto my last vice -- smoking.
ON STARTING OUT AT GOVERNOR'S
It was really a wake-up call because the comics there were on their game. I remember I followed John Mulrooney, who was a huge, huge comic on the Island. . . . I thought, "I'll never be this good." The first time I was onstage, I had prepared all this material and I went up and from the minute I opened my mouth I thought I was dying. I had left my body, wet my pants. I remember going, "Wow, what just happened?" . . . The other comics were, like, "You just have to come back and try again."
ON LONG ISLAND AUDIENCES
A lot of these people work all day, have to commute, so when they finally get to the club, they really want to laugh. They will not cut you a break. Either you bring it or you don't. So it was good training, especially in the early days.
WHAT: Dave Attell
WHERE | WHEN: 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, and 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday at Governor's Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown
INFO: $36 plus a two-drink minimum per person; 516-731-3358, govs.com