Night Shift 

TV's Insomniac makes a pit stop in Lakewood hours before your bedtime.

Dave Attell never imagined that his Saturday night in Cleveland a few years ago would involve a Polish American social hall and a bevy of blue-haired belles. But there he was at midnight, laughing and carrying on as he polkaed with 70-year-olds. As Attell whirled around the dance floor, his Comedy Central crew was rolling tape for an episode of Insomniac, the New York comic's TV travelogue that showcases American night life.

Each week, Attell finds a corner of not-so-sleepy city life to explore -- like getting drunk and going on the early-morning news to forecast the weather in Boise, Idaho, or making a late-night visit to an alligator farm in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In Cleveland, it happened to be a polka party. "It wasn't so much we did it for the polka," recalls Attell, who's on tour in support of his new DVD, Hey! Your Mouth's Not Pregnant! "We try to do something a little different than what the locals do, like ballroom dancing in Little Rock, Arkansas. Sometimes we take a left turn, because it can't be all wild girls and strip clubs."

Then again, the show did have its share of scantily clad women and belligerent drunks. In May 2002, Attell's Cleveland adventure began at 10 p.m. with a one-hour set at the Improv in the Flats. An hour later, he was pounding a beer with the boys at the Harbor Inn before he headed off to polka. Shortly before 1 a.m., Attell was back in the Flats with a barful of busty babes. ("As you can tell, they didn't name the Flats after the women," he pointed out to viewers.)

After last call, Attell learned the fine art of nipple-piercing by observing a few locals get punctured. Before he left town in a speedboat, he played a couple of rounds of cards with local firemen. "We've tried to capture stuff for people in your town," says Attell.

But at 40, Attell confesses that he's slowing down on his all-nighters. "Being on the road all the time is a little rough on your constitution," he admits. "I still get drunk, but it just seems sillier, the older you get."

Speaking of Highlights

More by Cris Glaser


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