TIME Magazine, February 15, 1962, p. 78:|
Woody Allen is a new, 27-year-old comedian whose monologues tumble with wild improbabilities.
He talks about people who perspire audibly; and he knows others who make opium out of the poppies sold by veterans... He owns an impatient tape recorder that constantly talks back at him, saying "I know, I know, I know." His father, he remembers, once worked in a factory but was replaced by a small gadget. His mother, he says, bought one.
These jokes come out as segments of nervous, elliptical stories. The man who tells them is a flat-headed, redheaded lemur with closely bitten fingernails and a sports jacket...
This may explain his recurrent preoccupation with food. One of his routines is premised on the axiom that people need taboo subjects. In the Faroe Islands, for example, where lovemaking is as casual as conversation, sleazy natives sidle up to strangers on street corners and try to sell them pictures of food. A piece of corned beef with just a little fat on it is considered very provocative. A girl is asked if she would like a little cream cheese with her bagels and she says: "I don't do that sort of thing."
Woody Allen is 5 ft. 6 in., but onstage or off, when he gets through talking about himself he seems two inches high. "I am desperately inept at everything," he says...
$1,500 Bit. Born and schooled in Flatbush, Woody flunked out of N.Y.U. and C.C.N.Y. in the same year. But at 17, he was already a success, writing gags for newspaper columnists. Earl Wilson mentioned his name to a show business public relations firm, and Woody was soon writing TV jokes for Herb Shriner, Peter Lind Hayes, Sid Caesar, Art Carney, Garry Moore. In one two-year period (he says) he wrote 25,000 gags. He now gets $1,500 for supplying a comedian with a five-minute bit.
About two years ago, he started doing his own jokes in nightclubs as well as selling them to others. As a comedian, he has swiftly risen from zero per week at Greenwich Village's Duplex to the $1,000 a week that he is now getting at the Village Gate. He will get his Ph.C. at San Francisco's hungry i in March. In this particular season he is not only an interesting new comedian but a rare one as well: he never mentions John F. Kennedy.