Watch Woody Allen's Classic Oscars Stand-Up Routine

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 24 2012 3:51 PM

Woody Allen at the Oscars

Woody Allen at the 74th Academy Awards.

Midnight in Paris is up for four Oscars this year, two of those for Woody Allen personally (best directing and best original screenplay). Still, everyone—well, almost everyone—assumes he won’t be at the ceremony; he didn’t even show in 1978, when Annie Hall was up for five awards and ended up winning four of them.

Which is too bad, because Woody Allen remains a charming stage presence—as he demonstrated the one time he went to the Oscars, in 2002. In fact, he did more than charm: He proved that, if he wanted to, he could still be a terrific stand-up, more than 40 years after his last comedy album. Allen only attended the 2002 ceremony because, six months after 9/11, the academy wanted to honor New York, and, as Allen says in the video from the ceremony below, “I’ll do anything for New York.” His bit is followed by a montage of New York City in the movies, directed by another New York filmmaker, Nora Ephron (worth sticking around for; it picks up after J.J. Hunsecker says, “I love this dirty town,” and the soundtrack jumps to “Stayin’ Alive”).

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.