Standup Comic Import
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"Here's a good example of oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, and she said 'No.'"
Between a youthful stint as a TV gag man and his groundbreaking films of the 1970s, Allen tried his hand at standup. He was, predictably, a success. Taken from nightclub dates in 1964, '65, and '68, Standup Comic shows how stylistically similar he was to contemporaries like Bill Cosby but also how his absurd flights of imagination made him utterly unique.
"I took a puff of the wrong cigarette at a fraternity dance once. The cops had to come and get me. I broke two teeth trying to give a hickey to the Statue of Liberty."
Now that he's a junior-varsity Ingmar Bergman, it's easy to forget that Allen's first public face was that of a world-class zhlub--a rumpled redhead who shared stories of analysis, sexual frustration, and failure. The long-form tales featured on Standup Comic (including Allen's famous bit featuring a moose) provide plenty of laughs as well as an early glimpse at this protean comic genius. --Mike Gerber
Top Customer Reviews
Allen issued on Colpix and Capitol in the timeframe 1964-1968.
It takes half a side each from two of those albums, and
the entirety of the third album. The material itself is
brilliant, as is Allen's timing. He is a natural comedian, and
this stuff stands proudly on the same narrow shelf of timeless
standup as the best of standup greats like Richard Prior,
Bob Newhart, George Carlin and precious few others. To fans
of standup, to fans of Woody Allen the comedian, to fans
of Seinfeld (which drew inspiration from largely the same
well three decades later) and to fans of laughter, this
is deliciciously required listening.
So ends the 5 star review of the shows (partially) documented
on this CD. Now the two problems: 1) As noted, this CD presents
only parts of the original LPs. More significantly, the
individual comedy pieces have been edited here, presumably
to get the running time down below the maximum 80 minutes
a single CD can hold. The problem is that this changes
the pacing of some of these routines, and drops funny lines
from others. That's tragic; 2) This CD has been mastered
from mediocre sources and, in the case of the middle set,
from what is obviously vinyl. This middle set (tracks 6 to
13, from the 1965 show) is particularly
'tinny' sounding, with little midrange or bass, and clearly
no effort to even remove the pops and tics of the vinyl. THIS
PORTION SOUNDS WORSE THAN THE ORIGINAL LP!
Rhino is usually dependable, but they dropped the ball on this
one. The mastering of the other material is better, although
far from audiophile quality.Read more ›
This single CD, however, is badly edited (sometimes in the middle of a routine) to reduce what was originally a double LP set of 93 minutes down to single CD length.
Search out the EMI import double CD of the same. Amazon has it. I just got mine. It is complete, and funny as hell as well as sophisticated.
Even at really reasonable used prices, you'll be missing too much if you get this single disc.
His ideas are simple, but genious. And his stories are hilarious. Whether you are into Standup or not, this should be required listening. I went from only knowing who Woody Allen was, to being a Woody Allen fan in 76 minutes. Great, whether a fan or not, check it out!
Rykodisc has done an impressive job of remastering these previously bootlegged albums into one disc. If you listen closely, you can hear "record static" on portions of the album, but for the most part this is a remarkable re-mastering. My only disappointment are the liner notes by Jim Hughes, who speaks only of his love of this album rather than sharing with us information on Woody's tenure as a standup comic. However, he does properly credit Woody with inaugurating the "little life" ancedotes that the writers of "Seinfeld" spent years trying to emulate.
If you are a hard-core Woodman fanatic, you will hear a few jokes that later crept into his movies ("I was rejected for service by the Army. Interestingly enough, I was classified 4-P. In the event of war - I'm a hostage.") It's also easy to imagine how some of this material would have ended up in his movies. Some people may say that the material sounds dated at times.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A comic genius. It was a delight to revisit some of the best comedy you are ever likely to hear.Published 12 months ago by McCall55
Woody at his finest! If you are not sure which of his albums to buy, or don't yet have this in your collection--get it. So goodPublished 13 months ago by Nathan Golden
His early stand up talent almost makes up for the ick factor of his later life.
He was very funny.
timeless comedy. For me, this is Woody Allen in his natural element: doing standup. His delivery and subject matter is timeless and perfectPublished 23 months ago by kfish