Real, Local 

Comedy Central’s Insomniac and MTV’s FM Nation get down in Salt Lake City—ack!

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After a drink or eight, there’s nothing like the sight of a couple of men beating the hell out of each other—unless, of course, it’s a couple of women beating the hell out of each other. Top it all off with a wet T-shirt contest, and you’ve got more fun than ever believed possible within the city limits of Prozac Palisades (also known as Sandy).

Dave Attell and Comedy Central were in the valley last week filming an upcoming Salt Lake City episode of his acclaimed Insomniac, the late-night travelogue show that answers the question, “What do stubbly comics do in strange new cities after their stand-up sets are over but the beer buzz isn’t?” In the past two seasons, Attell has taped shows in New York City, San Francisco, Miami, Kansas City, New Orleans, Houston, Tijuana, Baltimore, Memphis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Boise, Reno, Atlanta, Phoenix and Montreal—it was only a matter of time before he hit great American hot-spot Club 90 in Sandy, right?

Here’s where it all ties together, dear reader: Attell and his camera crew were at the sprawling south valley club two Tuesdays ago to get an eyeful of Fight Night, the weeknight phenomenon that’s been packing ’em in at Club 90 for months now. Padded-up amateur boxers getting their brawl on to win cash prizes and the adoration of two-fisted drinkers—think karaoke, but with chin music. It’s but one local attraction I directed Comedy Central’s Los Angeles research scouts to a month ago when they called and asked, “So, whaddya do in Salt Lake at night?” I also advised them to hook up with Mayor Rocky “Rock & Roll All Night—Except on Main Street” Anderson; not sure what came of that lead.

When our very own Insomniac hits cable in December or January, here’s hoping the fights, the rambunctious crowd and the Girls Gone Wild-worthy booby frenzy of the wet T-shirt contest, as well as whatever else Attell and his posse caught on tape in SLC, will atone for the local images captured by another traveling reality show, MTV’s FM Nation. Never seen it? C’mon, it’s that MTV series with all the teens and twentysomethings making out, drinking, screaming at each other, drinking, making “deep” confessionals, drinking, crying hysterically, drinking, dancing like ‘hos in nightclubs … OK, sorry, not narrowing it down any.

FM Nation follows groups of young adults out kickin’ it on a Saturday night in Anytown USA, as the DJ on the radio provides the hit-tune soundtrack to whatever found “reality” goes down (a retro-romantic notion in these automated radio times). Never mind that these same radio stations—which all sound blandly similar, but that’s a whole other corporate-intrigue story—helped MTV stage advance casting calls for each episode to weed out the more boring locals; this is Spontaneous Reality happening right now.

Previous episodes shot in such cosmopolitan hubs as Bakersfield, Little Rock and Boulder were loaded with delinquent behavior and hormonal drama—the aforementioned drinking, crying and screaming, as well as some “young adults” literally partying till they puked, doing Budweiser and Andrew W.K. proud.

How did Salt Lake City represent on this week’s FM Nation (which ran Tuesday and repeats Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at noon and Monday at 4:30 p.m.)? Dig if you will the picture: Three rawk chicks doing the unskinny groupie bop with hair-metal washouts Warrant at a Ritz bowling alley (!) show, four squeaky-cute Mo-teens enjoying wholesome semi-kissy activities at the 49th Street Galleria … and then there’s Skippy.

Skippy, who comes off as an only slightly more suave version of Life Goes On’s Corky, is a “24-year-old virgin” Mormon who finally gets up the nerve to ask a girl from Sunday School out on a date. Once the couple is parked at a “popular make-out spot,” Skippy makes like Carrot Top and whips out props. Simmer down, this isn’t Bakersfield, degenerates—Skippy’s brought toy boats to represent a “friend ship” blossoming into a “relation ship.” No … really.

That Insomniac better be DAMN good.

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