Two years before he made the leap to writing and then directing feature films, Woody Allen was just another staff writer and stand-up comic on a variety of comedic television shows like Candid Camera, which we all know as the granddaddy of prank shows. Allen not only wrote for the show, but at times he even appeared as the prankster. Here's a great clip where Allen plays a man tasked with dictating a very unprofessional love letter to a hilariously charming secretary who has no idea what's going on.
Everything about this clip is why we love Allen's comedy. He's never been one to go for the big, elaborate set pieces (except in his very early sillier work), but instead wins you over with the small details. In this prank, it's not so much about crafting the craziest, most unprofessional love letter ever, but instead he gets laughs out of his ridiculous punctuation choices. In the opening interview, Allen talks about why he feels short and unloved, and when one of the men asks if he thinks tall, Allen shoots back, "I think medium. I think in a size 28."
It's those tiny, neurotic details that make Woody Allen one of our all-time great funnymen, and it's in fantastic clips like this where we get to watch him honing that craft before moving on to share his neuroticism on a much larger screen for many years to come. [via Filmmaker IQ]