Stand-Up Comic: 1964-1968

Stand-Up Comic: 1964-1968

by Woody Allen
     
 

This compilation of legendary stand-up sets, from three long-out-of-print albums, offers admirers of Woody Allen's movies a portrait of the artist as a young quipster. Here are the themes, obsessions, and punchlines that would define Woody Allen's comic persona forever -- hilarious bits that he would later spin endless variations on in his films and fiction. The… See more details below

Overview

This compilation of legendary stand-up sets, from three long-out-of-print albums, offers admirers of Woody Allen's movies a portrait of the artist as a young quipster. Here are the themes, obsessions, and punchlines that would define Woody Allen's comic persona forever -- hilarious bits that he would later spin endless variations on in his films and fiction. The topics are all the staples of Allen's best work -- sex, psychology (he's mentally scarred by being breast-fed from falsies), philosophy (he's accused of cheating on a metaphysics exam when the proctor catches him "looking into the soul of a classmate"), Jewish guilt, family (his parents' values are "God and carpeting"), his unhappy childhood, and his endless troubles with women (he put his first wife "under a pedestal"). But the highlights of this incredible disc are the bizarre fantasy anecdotes like "The Moose" and "Down South," now legendary routines in which Woody melds Jewish borscht-belt traditions to modern absurdist narratives set in the "all-American" realms of hunting trips and good-old-boy lynchings. This is a landmark that no self-respecting comedy fan can do without.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sandy Lawson
Woody Allen, or Master Woodrow Konisberg the III (as he so blatantly refers to himself) is here at his best. This album truly defines the word "classic," weaving bits that span five years and three comedy clubs seamlessly into one production. Although Allen has been quoted as saying he hated working nightclubs, you wouldn't know it from this recording. Allen sounds poised and confident, or as much as his bespectacled, nerdy persona allows him to be. You can hear the fans in the audience (root word: fanatic) smiling. They fall for this mastermind's bits hook, line, and sinker. His non-threatening stage presence does not attempt to evoke sympathy from the audience, rather, it creates a sort of rapport with the spectators that says, "Hooray for the Little Guy." Doesn't everyone feel like a Woody Allen at some point or another? Most like to keep it hidden, but Allen showcases his vulnerability, exploits it for a few good laughs. The Stand-Up Comic album, covering the years 1964-1969, consists of the typical rigmarole that can be found in most of his movies: the cause of his neurosis in the past, current states of neurosis, and childhood memories that will undoubtedly lead to future neurosis. And, of course, don't forget a true hallmark of Allen's: "Woodrow's" lack of luck with the ladies. Woody Allen sets up a bit something like this. "My parents have two values in life: God and carpeting." This is then followed by a short seemingly serious story about what it is that makes him say that. "I told my parents about my divorce/my mother walked over to the stove/(comedic pause)/she opened it up/(more brilliant timing)/and she got in." Explosive laughter. Allen keeps his audience's eyes propped wide open with delight, just waiting for the punch. You can hear a pin drop in the moment before he delivers, and yet, he still manages to sneak up on them. The receptive audiences recorded on this album induce waves of nostalgia that make it even ever so much more enjoyable to listen to. It is reminiscent of a time before comedy club audiences were reduced to a common denominator, relying on scatological humor to bond together. Even though the material is "dated" per se, Allen's untimely references to things like the Warren Report can be easily overlooked in lieu of his hilarious and rhythmic speech patterns, Walter Mittey-esque-bordering-on-ridiculous scenarios, and characters and set-ups that can only be a product of the mind of a comic genius. Hate him? You'll reconsider. Even if you think you can't stand Woody Allen, you will be pleasantly surprised at this collector's item of a record. His charming, self-effacing, catch-you-off-guard-type humor will lure you in to the point of saying, "Hm. Maybe that Annie Hall wasn't so bad after all." Classic. Vintage. And pretty darn funny, too.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
04/20/1999
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227572129
catalogNumber:
75721
Rank:
25755

Related Subjects

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >