The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

As ”Midnight in Paris”, huge movie hit directed by Woody Allen opens in Europe, Guardian looks back at his genius! As we are huge fans of Woody Allen and his work, we decided to share this interesting post with you!
Annie Hall 001 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

Annie Hall (1977)

This winner of the Oscar for best picture, starring Diane Keaton, opens with a comic monologue that can sum up the world view expounded upon – through humour, love and tragedy – in all of Woody Allen’s films. His character, Alvy Singer, says: “There’s an old joke. Two elderly women are at a Catskill restaurant. One of them says, ‘Boy, the food at this place is just terrible.’ The other one says, ‘Yeah I know. And such small portions.’ Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life. Full of misery, loneliness and suffering and unhappiness – and it’s all over much too quickly”

1986 HANNAH AND HER SISTE 0031 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Hannah, one of his finest films, is full of delicious writing (I think of Max von Sydow’s thundering artist berating a dim client: “You don’t buy paintings to blend in with a sofa!”). Woody plays Mickey Sachs, a TV comedy producer consumed by existential questions. When he tells his parents he’s becoming a Catholic, his mother locks herself in the lavatory. Mickey explains to his dad: “If God exists, why is there so much evil in the world? Why were there Nazis?” Still busy clearing up dinner, his perplexed father replies: “How the hell do I know why there were Nazis? I don’t know how the can opener works!”

Sleeper 1973 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

Sleeper (1973)

As Miles Monroe, a health food shop owner who wakes up years in the future, Woody performed his finest clowning – an ode to silent-era slapstick with added screwball banter. To the music of his own band Ragtime Rascals, he and Diane Keaton’s Luna go on the run in a dystopian society. “It’s hard to believe you haven’t has sex for 200 years,” says Luna. “204, if you count my marriage,” replies Miles. Later, as the pair are about to capture the president’s disembodied nose, she says: “You’re biting my nails.” Miles responds: “It’s because you’re tense.” I also love the Jewish robot tailors

1980 STARDUST MEMORIES 006 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

Stardust Memories (1980)

Following the cool reception for his first serious film Interiors and the acclaim for Manhattan (a film he didn’t admire), Allen made a Felliniesque, black-and-white film, playing a famous director, Sandy Bates, visiting a seaside film festival. In one sequence, he meets Martians who tell him: “We like your movies, particularly the early, funny ones.” He also asks the aliens for counsel. “Shouldn’t I stop making movies and do something that counts, like… like helping blind people or becoming a missionary or something?” asks Bates. “You want to do mankind a real service?” replies the alien. “Tell funnier jokes”

Crimes and Misdemeanors 007 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

Brilliantly balancing neurotic comedy with deep philosophy and tragedy, Allen played Cliff Stern, a serious but struggling documentary-maker saddled with making a film about his wife’s brother, Lester, a successful, shallow TV producer played by Alan Alda (mantra: “If it bends, it’s funny, if it breaks, it isn’t”). Cliff really wants to make a film about aged Jewish scholar Professor Louis Levy but despairs of the industry, saying: “Showbusiness is dog eat dog. It’s worse than dog eat dog. It’s dog doesn’t return other dog’s phone-calls, which reminds me… I should check my answering service”

Manhattan 008 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

Manhattan (1979)

One of cinema’s great opening sequences. Over the stunning city photography of Gordon Willis and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, we hear Allen as struggling writer Isaac: “Chapter One. He adored New York City. To him it was a metaphor for the decay of contemporary culture. The same lack of individual integrity that caused so many people to take the easy way out was rapidly turning the town of his dreams in… no, it’s gonna be too preachy, I mean, you know, let’s face it, I wanna sell some books here. Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat…”

Deconstructing Harry 009 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

Deconstructing Harry (1998)

Harry Block is Allen’s meanest character. His relatives and ex-wives and girlfriends are upset about how he’s portrayed them in his writing, but now he’s suffering from writer’s block and, in a structure riffing on Bergman’s Wild Strawberries, revisiting them. Some of film’s best jokes are sight gags (one involving an actor who is, literally, “out of focus” and thus appears as a blur) but the dialogue is often brilliant, too, such as this exchange between Harry and his religiously observant sister, Doris. “You have no values. With you it’s all nihilism, cynicism, sarcasm, and orgasm.” Harry responds: “Hey, in France I could run for office with that slogan and win!”

VARIOUS 010 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

Play it Again, Sam (1972)

A hilarious romcom, directed by Herbert Ross but written by Allen. In the following exchange, he is trying to proposition an attractive girl in an art gallery (Diana Davila, who had played Anne Frank in a US TV movie). Allen: “That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?” Davila: “Yes, it is.” Allen: “What does it say to you?” Davila: “It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of man forced to live in a barren, godless eternity…” (She goes on like this.) Allen: “What are you doing Saturday night?” Davila: “Committing suicide.” Allen: “What about Friday night?”
Without Feathers Cover 0021 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes

Without Feathers (1975)

Woody Allen has often written stories for the New Yorker magazine, as well as for Playboy, and his collected musings have been published in the volumes Getting Even, Without Feathers and Side Effects. In spoof snippets from a private journal (“to be published posthumously, or after [my] death, whichever comes first”) he writes: “I am plagued by doubts. What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In which case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet. If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.”
Antz 0041 The 10 best Woody Allen jokes Antz (1998)

In the first computer-animated film from the DreamWorks studio, Woody Allen provides the voice for the lead character, Z, a neurotic Central Park ant who disputes the colony’s political and social structure after falling in love with Princess Bala (voiced by Sharon Stone). The part was written for him by brothers Chris and Paul Weitz, who gave him on-the-couch monologues typical of Annie Hall: “I think everything must go back to the fact that I had a very anxious childhood. My mother never had time for me. You know, when you’re … when you’re the middle child in a family of five million, you don’t get any attention”

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