Sunday, August 5, 2012

I saw Woody Allen in one of his last stand up engagements

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True story: Shortly after he made "Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask" Woody Allen performed in a theater of the round in the San Fernando Valley in L.A. County. The "opening act" was Jim Croce -- I put "opening act" in quotation marks because for some strange reason there was a delay that night and Croce actually went on second. Allen was terrific and took questions from the audience. But what I remember most was this bit he did with a little piece of lint on his jacket. You have to picture the scene: Woody Allen is alone on stage and it's a theater in the round. There is just a single spotlight on him; the rest of the theater is dark. Now, when there is just one spotlight it tends to light up the dust around the person and you can see stuff floating in the air. In the midst of his act, Woody plucks a small string -- a piece of lint -- from his jacket and flicks it in the air. The lint is floating in the air. Woody then tells a joke and the audience laughs. When the audience laughs, the air from the audience laughter causes the lint to jump up in the air ! After a couple of more jokes the audience notices this lint which is still hanging in the air. With each burst of laughter the lint dances higher and higher! Soon everyone is laughing twice: once for the Woody Allen punchline and then again when we all see the lint jump up higher in the air. After each burst of laughter, the lint jumps up! Then when we see the lint jump up, we laugh again and the lint jumps a second time ! It seemed that Woody kept this piece of lint dancing and jumping in the air for twenty minutes! True story.

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