Woody Allen – Early Stand-up Routines

For your delectation: with the new documentary on Woody Allen out in cinemas now (and making film-houses a warmer, funnier place for it), The Red Curtain invites you to take a moment to revisit the brilliant stand-up routines Allen crafted towards the start of his career. Well, we say start, but given he was a paid gag writer in high school, earning more money than his parents combined by age 17, he was already a seasoned veteran by the time of this:

For those who enjoyed Midnight in Paris, you can see the genesis of his love for the Parisian literary salons of the 1920s here, in one of his finest routines:

And the Metropolitan Museum of Art sketch:


Neutral Milk Hotel/Jeff Mangum

If you’ve had the misfortune of being around me when I’m terribly drunk, you’ve probably heard me slur emphatically:

“‘In the Aeroplane Over the Sea'” by Neutral Milk Hotel is my favourite work of art in the world, in any medium, ever.”

God but it is, peculiar, ugly-beautiful, with imagery rank and surreal, lyrics by turns introverted and weirdly celebratory, and great big orgasmic soundscapes. Orgasmic is the word, because the whole album is suffused with sticky, teenaged, fumbling sexual imagery. Despite being an album loosely based on telling Anne Frank’s story (she of the diary and the annexe and the holocaust tragedy), ITAOTS has always being curiously resonant, like a musical distillation of my psyche. My psyche is a strange place, yo.

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