Woody Allen might return to stand-up comedy, so let’s dust-off two of his old books

Will Woody Allen return to stand-up comedy? (Photograph of Woody Allen by Colin Swan)

Photograph by Colin Swan via Commons.Wikimedia.org.

“I cheated on my metaphysics final. I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me.” — Woody Allen, from one of his early stand-up routines

Woody Allen doesn’t sound too sure he would return to stand-up comedy; then again, he seems to be thinking about it. His new movie, Blue Jasmine, in theaters this Friday [July 26], opened an opportunity for interviews.

With stand-up comics Andrew Dice Clay and Louis C.K. starring in Blue Jasmine, an interviewer had to ask if Allen would return to stand-up.

“I was thinking of it,” Allen told Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times. “Since I saw him [Mort Sahl doing stand-up at 85], I’ve just been toying with the idea. I would love to see if I could. Just getting together an hour of stuff to talk about would be a lot of work.”

That’s got us reminiscing about Allen’s stand-up comedy. So, why not dust-off two of his stand-up-era books for some quick laughs?

Excerpt from Without Feathers (1972)

Woody Allen books, "Side Effects" and "Without Feathers," in celebration of his possible return to stand-up comedy.

Two books by Woody Allen from the 1970s.

There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from midtown and how late is it open? Unexplainable events occur constantly. One man will see spirits. Another will hear voices. A third will wake up and find himself running in the Preakness. How many of us have not at one time or another felt an ice-cold hand on the back of our neck while we were home alone. (Not me, thank God, but some have.) What is behind these experiences? Or in front of them, for that matter? Is it true that some men can foresee the future or communicate with ghosts? And after death is it still possible to take showers?

Excerpt from Side Effects (1975)

It has been four weeks and it is still hard for me to believe Sandor Needleman is dead. I was present at the cremation and at his son’s request, brought the marshmallows, but few of us could think of anything but our pain.

Needleman was constantly obsessing over his funeral plans and once told me, “I much prefer cremation to burial in the earth, and both to a weekend with Mrs. Needleman.” In the end, he chose to have himself cremated and donated his ashes to the University of Heidelberg, which scattered them to the four winds and got a deposit on the urn.

Trailer for Blue Jasmine (2013)


The Moose routine

Also see the New Yorker‘s Rachel Arons’ Gen-X post on Allen’s possible return to stand-up.

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