"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
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- Artist: Woody Allen