July 29, 2013

"Mort Sahl is the guy who inspired me to go on stage for the first time in my life, and when I saw him the other night..."

"... I had that feeling again of, 'I can do this,'" said Woody Allen, contemplating doing standup again.
“He was as great as I remembered... So I thought, ‘Gee, it would be nice to get up there and do that again.’... It’s a lot of work....You have to put together an hour of laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh. You can’t dawdle. In a film script, if there’s a laugh here and there, but people interacting in a meaningful way, it’s good. But on stage, you come out and you’ve got to get a laugh, and then another and another.”
Allen is 78. Can you picture him doing standup now? Did you picture Mort Sahl? I didn't know Mort Sahl was still alive. He's 86. Here he is in 1967, opening with a shot at that actor who wants to be Governor of California and proceeding to explain, using a blackboard, the difference between left, right, and middle (which includes a left, right, and middle, to the left, right, and middle, respectively):