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Dave Attell engages Helium crowd with his off-color humor

For those of you complaining about society being too easily offended, too sensitive to jokes, too “politically correct,” does Helium Comedy Club have the show for you with the rowdy Dave Attell, who began his weekend run Thursday night.

Of course, one person annoyed with the pressure to take down a Confederate flag or the removal of a school mascot name might also be easily offended with the quantity of sex and porn jokes Attell delivers with aplomb. Every person has his own line, but if you’re amused by those topics, Attell is your man and sure to have you howling with gut-busting laughs.

Attell is well aware of his reputation, offering several apologies after one of his dirty jokes. Like a comedic prizefighter, Attell engages the crowd throughout the show. He doesn’t just chat with individual audience members, but will often address the crowd depending on the type of laugh (or non-reaction) a joke will get. Several people in the front row took a couple of shots for being a bit stiff during Attell’s set.

“This side (of the room) is ready to rock,” Attell said. “The other side is Downton Abbey.”

When one joke landed with a thud, Attell quickly told the crowd, “Groan louder, God hears you.”

Occasionally at comedy shows, you’ll hear a very distinctive laugh that captures the attention of the comedian, and soon enough, the crowd will be laughing not only at the jokes, but the reaction of the person laughing. It happened Thursday night, as a female teacher often provided Attell with the loudest laughs of the night.

“I love you,” Attell said to her. “Who’s your hard-of-hearing husband who puts up with it? Who is that ex-Vietnam helicopter pilot?”

When he’s not trading in dirty jokes, Attell does offer perspective on other, cleaner topics, like fruit, air fresheners and living in Buffalo. Inevitably, he always veers back to the baser humor, but if you know Attell, that’s what you’re there for. Most people who attended Thursday night offered their approval with laughter, and Attell offered his appreciation.

“Thank you guys for picking me over Applebee’s.”

Local feature act Rick Matthews was a great complement to Attell’s style. As a married comic with two children (and another one on the way), Matthews offered jokes about his soon-to-be teenage daughter, losing weight and keeping track of the local sex offender registry. Like the headliner, Matthews is fluent in dirty jokery.

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