Long before he morphed into one of the most celebrated American filmmakers in history, Woody Allen got his first taste of fame as a stand-up comedian working in the clubs in New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s. Those formative experiences are captured on the forthcoming The Stand Up Years, a two-disc set that captures some of Allen’s finest jokes and onstage moments.
It’s not only an incredible time capsule of top-shelf Allen humor, but the seeds of his approach to film also lie in his riffs on his youth, advertising, selling out, and Hollywood. A bunch of the material hasn’t been heard in decades, and there’s also some great bonus material—including the track below, which finds Allen reflecting on his early career and riffing on how loyal his longtime managers Jack Rollins and Charles Joffe were.
Woody Allen’s The Stand Up Years arrives in stores on Jan. 13. You can currently pre-order it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. A pre-order will get you an instant download of a track from the album. It’s an absolute must for both completist Allen fans and anybody who appreciates the art of stand-up.