25 July 2013 3:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

In the more than 40 years since he gave up touring as a standup comic to focus on his film career, Woody Allen has never missed his old life on the nightclub circuit. Until one night last month, as he sat in the audience at the Cafe Carlyle watching another legendary comic, Mort Sahl, work the room.

Mort Sahl is the guy who inspired me to go on stage for the first time in my life, and when I saw him the other night, I had that feeling again of, ‘I can do this,’ ” Allen says a few days later over iced coffee in the Carlyle’s venerable bar, Bemelmans. After seeing Sahl at the Carlyle, Allen went home and YouTube’d some of the comedian’s vintage performances. “He was as great as I remembered,” says Allen. “So I thought, ‘Gee, it would be nice to get up there and do that again. »


- Scott Foundas

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