October 21, 2014 0

One Script Writer. One Actor. One Comedian. One Musician. One Director. One Play Writer. One Woody Allen.

By in GEFilms

Woody Allen has proved his innumerable skills as a film maker. But did you know that he also plays clarinet in some small venues in Manhattan? Or that his first jokes published as a young comedian paid as much as his parents wages together? Read the 15 things you didn’t know about Woody Allen at www.gefilms.net.

1. Woody Allen revealed to the media that he hates all his films, but does like some of the individual scenes.

2. His real name is Allan Stewart Konigsberg. He legally changed his name to Heywood Allen at the age of 17.

3. He worked as a comedy writer in the 1950s, writing jokes and scripts for television and publishing several books of short humor pieces. Emphasizing later in the ‘60s monologues rather than traditional jokes, his stand-up comedy is considered influential.

4. As a comic, he developed the persona of an insecure, intellectual, fretful nebbish, which he maintains is quite different from his real-life personality.

5. In 2004, Comedy Central ranked Allen in fourth place on a list of the 100 greatest stand-up comics, while a UK survey ranked Allen as the third greatest comedian.

6. By the mid-1960s Allen was writing and directing films, first specializing in slapstick comedies before moving into dramatic material influenced by European art cinema during the 1970s.

7. Allen has been nominated 24 times and won four Academy Awards: three for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Director (Annie Hall). He has more screenwriting Academy Award nominations than any other writer, and has won nine British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards.

8. Allen performs regularly as a jazz clarinetist at small venues in Manhattan. Allen is a passionate fan of jazz, featured prominently in the soundtracks to his films. He began playing the clarinet as a child and took his stage name from clarinetist Woody Herman. He has performed publicly at least since the late 1960s.

9. At school, unlike his comic persona, he was more interested in baseball than school and his strong arms ensured he was first to be picked for a team. He impressed students with his extraordinary talent at card and magic tricks.

10. To raise money he wrote jokes (or “gags”) for agent David O. Alber, who sold them to newspaper columnists. He was then earning more than both parents combined.

11. After high school, he attended New York University, studying communication and film. He later briefly attended City College of New York and soon flunked out to learn via self-study rather than in the classroom.

12. Allen has said that he “survives” on the European market. Audiences there tend to be more receptive to his films, particularly in Spain, France and Italy – countries where he has a large audience.

13. For many years, Allen wanted to make a film about the origins of jazz in New Orleans. The film, tentatively titled American Blues, would follow the vastly different careers of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. Allen stated that the film would cost between $80 and $100 million and is therefore unlikely to be made.

14. While best known for his films, Allen has enjoyed a successful career in theatre, starting as early as 1960.

15. Unlike other filmmakers, Allen has produced almost one movie a year since his career as a filmmaker started.


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