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Two reporters’ takes on two shows during Comedy Central’s Vegas weekend

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Nick at Night: Swardson yuks it up at the Mirage.
Bill Hughes

The Details

Dave Attell & Jim Norton
Three stars
February 23, MGM Grand

Old pros Dave Attell and Jim Norton certainly know how to work a crowd, and that’s what they did best at the Hollywood Theatre for their second Comedy Central Vegas Weekend performance. When Norton solicited the audience for single women, he got a lone cheer, from a woman who then became a focus for both comedians, culminating in her coming onstage during the final part of the show while the duo crowned her “Princess Las Vegas” with a plastic tiara.

That spontaneous interaction was a highlight of a show focused on what Attell referred to as “dirty-old-man” comedy—a relentless vulgarity that got a little tiresome by the end of Attell’s set (the comedians split the show, with about 45 minutes each). Norton offered up some surprisingly genuine personal insights alongside the expected jokes about oral sex and masturbation, while Attell settled for something a little slicker and more polished (thanks, no doubt, to his 25 years as a touring stand-up), but also a bit too superficial. “Back to the dick jokes” was his refrain whenever a punchline failed to land, and he had no shortage of them.

The audience loved it all, however, and the two comedians complemented each other well. They were just the right kind of dirty old men. —Josh Bell

The Details

Nick Swardson
Two and a half stars
February 23, Mirage

Do people know Nick Swardson by name yet? If not, he’s the guy who played Terry the gay hooker on roller skates on Reno 911! Now he writes movies with Adam Sandler’s production company. He’s funny, and if you like stories about 1. getting drunk and 2. the things that happen after you get drunk, he’s really funny.

It’s always inspiring to hear from people who are passionate about something, and Nick Swardson is passionate about getting wasted. Whether he’s wrapping his penis over his wrist and asking somebody to help read his watch or whether he’s blacked out at the Hard Rock Hotel and waking up to a hooker jerking him off, Swardson is the John Daly of comedy. Except that Swardson knows how to pull it together when it’s game time.

When he’s not talking about getting wasted, he’s talking about other people getting wasted: “I love drunk chicks. They get so housed. They look sexy at midnight, but by noon they look like Carrot Top. … And girls order the weirdest shots. ‘Let’s do a Peanut Butter Burrito!’”

Evening highlights included Swardson’s classic bits—isn’t he too young to have classic, on-request bits?—one non-booze joke (“I would have bought a Droid but the commercial creeped me out”) and a surprise Amy Schumer opener.

The show was fun but quite short, and the old bits trumped the new. —Rick Lax

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