LOS ANGELES—Stand-up comedian Dave Attell has an unabashed fondness for porn, and he's about to share it with the world.
The 2010 AVN Awards Show host debuts a new series Thursday night on Showtime titled Dave's Old Porn, which he describes as a Mystery Science Theater 3000-style send-up/celebration of adult cinema from the Golden Age era of the late ’70s and early ’80s. A run of eight episodes airs weekly at 11:30 p.m., with subsequent availability on demand, and the show features appearances by a parade of comedy's other biggest names, including fellow AVN Awards alums Jim Norton and Greg Fitzsimmons, Margaret Cho, Whitney Cummings, Chelsea Handler, Adam Carolla, Bill Burr and more.
Perhaps more impressively, however, Dave's Old Porn brings these noted comics together with the very stars of the movies they're viewing: Seka, Sharon Kane, Ron Jeremy, Nina Hartley, Paul Thomas and "The Godmother of Porn" herself, Georgina Spelvin, all serve as guests of honor. In addition, a few contemporary stars join the party, including Kristina Rose, Belladonna and Bobbi Starr.
"I realized I really don't know porn," Attell joked to AVN. "Everybody, I think, has underestimated these really old retro films. I mean, I know they think they're corny and cheesy, but there's also great other stuff in it. It is like going back in time. We had great access to some great films through Dave Sutton at VCX; we got some great old titles to work with. And the problem was like, you never can have enough, but in this situation, I had too much. So my apartment's just littered with classic porn, and deciding what to show and what not to show, it took me about a year to edit to get eight episodes."
At 30 minutes an episode—and with the restriction of not being able to show anything hardcore—Dave's Old Porn doesn't have the luxury of being able to screen an entire film a la MST3K, and so the format is "more of a celebration of the people who made these films," Attell explained. "We just kind of bounce from clip to clip. We do show sex, but we have to of course cover it. But it is really pushing the limit of what can be shown on television. It's uncensored, unscripted, and it's done on a green screen, so it really does move, and it's more fun than it is sexy, like a kind of porn party. But I've been working on it for a long time."
Four years, in fact. Attell said that he and executive producer Stewart Bailey "first brought the show to another network, and they were into it, but then they realized, 'Hey, this is porn—we can't show this!' And we had already shot the pilot, so we brought it to Showtime, and Showtime was like, 'This is definitely what we're looking for for our late-night block of shows.' I know they want to do more comedy over there, so I'm just lucky that they dug the show."
Convincing the Golden Age stars to do the show was a challenge in its own right, Attell said. "A lot of these older stars, they've moved on, or a lot of them are like, 'Oh, this is probably just another weird thing,' but I wanted them to know that we were there for them, and it was about them, and it wasn't making fun of them," he asserted. "We're talking about their clips and all that stuff, but it's all in the spirit of tribute.
"And a lot of the stars who I would have loved to have on the show are no longer with us, like Jamie Gillis, John Leslie," Attell continued. "These are guys you see continuously in the movies that we show. Like Lisa De Leeuw, all those people, I wish that these people were around so that we could get them, because we would just see them all the time and just be in awe of all the great films that they did. John Holmes and all that."
Attell was especially excited about the opportunity speaking with AVN gave him to spread the word about his show directly to adult industry fans and current working professionals.
"I want to get to the people who know porn, make porn, love porn," he enthused. "Hopefully they'll like this show, because it's for them, too. The industry was very, very good to me. VCX, Evil Angel, and all the porn stars who were in it. Everybody on the show was great."
(Photo of Whitney Cummings, Ron Jeremy and Dave Attell courtesy of facebook.com/OldP0rn.)