The Nero of neurosis, Woody Allen
Crying on the Outside:
1977's Oscar hog Annie Hall confirmed Allen as
comedic icon of the 70s, establishing a new kind of funnyman - quick-witted but wimpy, thinker rather than doer - and a style of humour rooted in seriousness.
Woody could do anything he wanted...and what he wanted was to stay behind the camera to make a glacial family drama in homage to his hero Ingmar Bergman, that well-known tickler of funnybones.
Ever heard the crack about Woody's "early, funny ones?" Everything before
Give Up the Day Job?
Allen has incorporated serious
his day job, setting a template that everyone from Steve Martin to Zach Braff has tried to emulate.
While the comedies themselves got heavier, Allen still reserves the right – occasionally – to make a flat-out austere, miserabilist chamber-drama.
Useful rule of thumb: if Woody’s not starring, chances are he’s not even
to be funny.