Before Woody Allen became one of the most celebrated filmmakers in American cinema, he was a prolific stand-up comedian who inspired a new generation of self-reflective, neurotic and introspective comedians. And while Woody Allen’s are still readily available to purchase today, Razor & Tie has curated a collection of Allen’s stand-up tracks (three albums in total) along with some very special features. Dubbed Woody Allen: The Stand-Up Years 1964-1968, the two disc set will be released Jan. 13, with pre-orders beginning now!
Special features include an audience Q&A and some interview audio from Robert Weide’s 2012 film Woody Allen: A Documentary. And that brings us to what’s below. It’s some of the bonus material from The Stand-Up Years— a Laughspin exclusive. Taken from Weide’s film, it finds Woody Allen expounding on the Catskills comedy scene, earning the respect of iconic comedians like Henny Youngman, Phil Foster and Jack E. Leonard and his grueling tour schedule. Allen says he’d routinely perform seven nights a week in St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco and New York without a day off, oftentimes two shows a night and three on weekends.
“It’s something you either love, you love that life. Or you do it as part of a stepping stone to something else,” Allen explains. “I was doing it, I felt, as a stepping stone. I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life…The game plan for me was to see what I could do as a comic, but never losing sight of my goal, which was to write for the theater. I wanted to write for the Broadway theater. I was not interested in films.”