Jim Norton hosts new show, which includes fellow comedians Bill Burr, Dave Attell and Jim Breuer. It debuted at Borgata Jan. 15 and returns Jan. 16.
If there were any doubts about how the Anti-Social Network tour would be received, those fears were squashed Friday night, Jan. 15, at the Borgata in Atlantic City, following the tour's debut show.
Around 5:30pm, the four comedians on the bill — Bill Burr, Jim Breuer, Dave Attell, and the show's host comedian Jim Norton — appeared together for what seemed to be one of the first times in a while, at the cavernous subterranean Borgata restaurant Fornelletto, where a casual and elegant press event was held with reporters from Rolling Stone and GQ there among many other regional members of the media.
The show's host comic Norton, who is from New Jersey, was very gracious and personable to the gathered media and talked about the tour as he posed for various photographers while sipping from a Starbucks cup before the first of the evening's two shows.
"I just hope it goes well; we don't know, you know?" Norton said to a member of the media gathered at the pre-show cocktail event. "We've never done this before."
All of the comedians praised each other hung around for photo opps and interviews before heading to their respective rooms to get ready for the show.
Wearing a Govt. Mule show on stage — a prophetic revelation in relation to Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford's recent statement that a three-day music festival is in the works for this June at the city's unused Bader Field. Rumors say the festival is "jam-band" related and the mayor insists a big-time music business promoter is putting on the show — Norton stepped to the stage to the blaring sounds of classic Black Sabbath and then kicked off the show with a mini set. Norton would appear throughout the show, doing a short set before introducing each comic when it was their at-bat in the lineup.
And quite a lineup this tour consists of; and what an idea for a comedy show, which could be duplicated to help boost the drab state of the music business — putting together a lineup of four amazingly talented artists on a package tour, each doing about 30-minute sets a show.
The comic quartet on the Anti-Social Network tour, each of whom have earned a place among the day's best and most respected stand-up artists, gave the crowd, about 2,000 strong, a solid two hours of raunchy, yet hilarious (and relative) humor.
Bill Burr was the opening comedian and killed the crowd. His performing magic is so powerful that by just hearing his Massachusetts accent can make you crack up — similar to hearing Norm MacDonald talk — at certain times. He's a gifted storyteller and has a long career ahead of him. His bits about relationships (and his reasons for a man to hit a woman) were among the best of the night.
Breuer, who still looks stoned as a Grateful Dead road crew, although he doesn't smoke anymore, used the Event Center stage to full advantage. He walked and waddled and jumped around it, busting out strange and violent animal sounds into the mike, while he imitated a vulture tearing up a deer carcass, ostriches pecking him in the face, huge giraffe tongues licking his car windshield and baboons climbing and barking around his car, while telling a hilarious story about a family trip to the drive-through zoo at Great Adventure in New Jersey.
Breuer, an actor who has appeared as a cast member on NBC's Saturday Night Live (1995-98) and in numerous films, including the cult classic Half Baked, which also stars Dave Chappelle, bared his belly during the first part of his performance and it was classic off-the-wall, hysterical Breuer humor from that point on.
It was fitting that the four-man comedy tour kicked off in Atlantic City.
All of the comics, with the exception of the New England bred-Burr, had New Jersey connections — at least by way of living in New York City, such as Attell, who proved to be very knowledgeable on the subject of Atlantic City, having played here so often over the years, even noting the other events in town at the resort the same weekend.
The host of the popular Comedy Central show Insomniac and a veteran stand-up who is a regular on USO tours, Attell closed the show with a raw and riveting set, riffing on raunchy sex jokes, modern times, and like a jazz musician, improvised throughout his set, tearing into anal-sex jokes then turning it around and peppering in some Atlantic City speak.
Highlighting jitneys, rolling chairs, the 154th birthday of the Absecon Lighthouse, as well as the city's Sunday night (Jan. 16) drag queen spoof of Miss America, the Miss'd America Pageant, in his material, the 46 year-old comedian also referred to Atlantic City as being a tough, "hard-core city."
"It's so hardcore," Attell said, "that the bus station doesn't even have a snack bar anymore. Nobody knows what happened to it. Nobody knows if someone stole it, or ate it. It's just gone."
The laugh fest, with the occasional mentions of the turbulent, tough times of the present day, always to humorous, side-splitting effect, of course, ended as genuine, and awkward and anti-social as would be expected from the tour's moniker.
You could tell, as Norton urged his three other compadres back to the stage at the end, that the four hadn't really rehearsed the finale part of the show yet — and maybe even the entire run of the show. But in the end it really didn't matter.
Trying to figure out a way to end the show for a few moments, the four stood there on the well-lit Event Center stage and it was straight improv for about 10 minutes before the quartet departed to the side of the stage, Attell's cigarette smoke trailing behind his bald head.
Among other moments of hysterics during the show, Attell joked about his baldness (and about a lot of very-adult things), Breuer joked that he and his young children always looked stoned, Burr delivered a pro-woman-beating bit that was one of the night's funniest and Norton told a story on how Brooke Shields would never want to sleep with him because of the way he looks.
Self-deprecation, hard-core sex humor and relationship jokes ruled the evening. But the four comedians left the approximately 2,000 people who came out to see the first of the three M.L.K. holiday weekend shows at Borgata, with something more than just teary eyes from laughing so hard or pains in their sides from howling so loud for two hours — they left them with grins on their faces and a brief yet important break from reality.
That is unless they were remembering one of the many strange, grotesque, peculiar and/or bizarre bits, which were the status quo for this show.
And that appears to be the intention of the tour, to bring these truly unique (in the nest sense of the word) and hilarious minds together.
"I have to honestly say that this is the best show I've ever been a part of,'' Norton
told a reporter prior to the show. "I don't think there are funnier guys than Dave, Jim and Bill. I just love being part of this show.''
As the first show was letting out, after 10pm, the audience of the late show stood in line waiting to get inside the Event Center. Meanwhile, Burr and Norton were out at the merch table hawking their new book and CD ("whoring ourselves") respectively.
Soon they'd be back on stage for the night's late show, which was slated to start at 11pm. It's Sunday afternoon and the boys have had all day to take in the resort town, until Sunday evening's show. Wonder how much their time spent in Atlantic City over the weekend will factor in to Sunday night's show or even shows after the tour leaves the resort.
This year, the Borgata is adding a special video twist to its annual Babes of Borgata Calendar, which features local Borgata associates.
"This is probably the last stand-up tour you’ll see for a while, toward the end of next year I’m going to start coming out with the band again."
Life is about experiences, not fun for Adam Carolla. That’s the reason the comic/actor/radio host agreed to perform on Dancing With The Stars in 2008. That’s why he appeared on the last edition of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, which aired last winter.
"The people in porn back then weren’t ripped. They didn’t have boob jobs. It was much more raw than what you see today in the porn world.”
"I would like to be like Larry, the next-door neighbor on 'Three’s Company.' Come into a scene, get a few laughs, and leave."
Get ready for the ‘new Breu,’ when Jim Breuer performs Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Borgata. The Saturday Night Live alum, best known for his “Goatboy” bit and playing a stoner in the cult film Half Baked, has reinvented himself.
You need only read the title of his first of two best-selling books to know Jim Norton is partial to poking fun at himself, and would be the first to admit his image is not likely to grace the pages ...
Speaking with comedian Jim Norton recently made me miss my old high school buddies from back home. It conjured up memories of us guys gathered around in our leather jackets, smoking cigarettes in the...
Comedian Jim Florentine loves heavy metal and making people laugh. Inspired by hard-hitting comedians such as Andrew "Dice" Clay, this New Jersey born-and-raised disciple of the lifestyle of '80s hai...
If I’ve learned anything during the 30 years I’ve been moonlighting in television, it’s this: There’s no such thing as a routine taping.
Fight Night at Boardwalk Hall
Rush to the Taj
Interview with Wanda Sykes