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Standup Comic

45 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 20, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

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Compiled from Woody Allen's legendary standup routines of the mid 1960s, Standup Comic is an absolute necessity for any acolyte of the man's solid work from his Casino Royale and New Yorker phase.

"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


1. The Vodka Ad
2. Vegas
3. Second Marriage
4. The Great Renaldo
5. Mechanical Objects
6. The Moose
7. Kidnapped
8. Unhappy Childhood
9. The Science Fiction Film
10. Eggs Benedict
11. Oral Contraception
12. European Trip
13. The Lost Generation
14. Private Life
15. Brooklyn
16. The Army
17. Pets
18. My Grandfather
19. My Marriage
20. Bullet In My Breast Pocket
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00000IMSB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,730 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 81 people found the following review helpful By David Pearlman TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a single CD compilation of three albums that Woody
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.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jizmo on February 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is excellent material. Woody Allen was a brilliant stand-up comedian before he became a brilliant film-maker.

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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ozzie on September 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This CD is a compilation of the 3 LP's Allen released in the 1960's. Having been a very succesful and highly paid television writer, Allen took to being a lowly-paid (at first) stand-up comic. Anyone who is familiar with Woody Allen's comedy movies, will instantly recognize his style of humor on this disc. Psychiatry, his disastrous relationships with women, his relatives, etc., are his favorite topics, and they are treated with the typical Allenesque point-of-view, which somehow manages to put you on the wrong foot every single time. Some of the jokes on this album later turned up in his movies. This CD actually doesn't include all the material that was available on the original LP's, but what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality, and, like it or not, this is all we're ever going to get. Somehow I don't think he'll ever go back to standup. It's our loss.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ned Yarburgh on November 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I am 14 years old with dreams of someday becoming a Standup Comic. I have been collecting comedy albums for 2 years now, and by far, this is the funniest, quirkiest, most genious, and most inspiring album I have gotten my hands on yet. I bought this from Amazon.com a few days ago along with his book "Without Feathers" without ever seeing a single Woody Allen film. I only bought the book after hearing Jon Stewart's Amazon.com interview, where he mentioned that it was his favorite book and thought "Why not buy his album?"
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!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sam Bissell on April 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Indeed, this is the great classic that the other reviews say. Yet I have a small, but significant complaint about this specific release. This CD is made up from several individual LPs (which I have heard countless times). To squeeze the stuff on a single disk, the Rhino team made small edits - incredibly cutting some important lines and side comments. This is outrageous - especially since this release will likely become the reference version for many people. Rhino often does a superior job remastering and restoring classic material - this is a low point. Rather than trim, why not add a second disk with outtakes or extra material?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MilesAndTrane on January 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
In between building a career as a writer, and before embarking on a career as a director that would make him a cinematic American legend, Woody Allen spent a few years doing standup comedy. This album is the only remaining "official" document of that time. In frank, it is just as hilarious as any Woody Allen film or book - that is, if you love Woody to begin with. Early on, Woody establishes himself as a New York Neurotic - the persona we could come to know in his films. He even goes as far to describe life at a Neurotic baseball summer camp ("Nail-biters vs. the Bed-wetters"). The liner notes show press clippings of his performances, and while most of these quotes aren't kind towards him, Woody sends his audience into fits of laughter.
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.
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