In a PBS documentary debuting this weekend, comedy guru Robert Weide examines the life and work of Woody Allen, film’s iconic nebbishy New York Jew
It was 1982, and Robert Weide was 22 years old, when he first approached Woody Allen about profiling the comic in a documentary. Weide, a fan of comedy legends since his childhood, had already made The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell, an acclaimed film about Groucho and his brothers, but Allen politely turned him down. Instead, the filmmaker turned his focus to Mort Sahl, about whom he made 1989’s Mort Sahl: The Loyal Opposition, and Lenny Bruce, subject of his Emmy- and Oscar-nominated 1998 film, Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth. Then he helped Larry David create Curb Your Enthusiasm, for which he served as executive producer for five seasons. When he approached Allen again, in 2008, the answer was yes.
The result is Woody Allen: A Documentary, a three-hour, two-part film for which Allen granted Weide extensive access to his life. It premieres Sunday night on PBS, as part of the “American Masters” series.
Weide joined Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to discuss why he makes films about comedians, how Allen directs his films, and what made Woody finally say OK. [Running time: 18:51.]
A proposal to redevelop Washington’s Old Post Office includes ambitious but ill-defined plans for a museum of world Jewish history
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.