In the mid-1960s, when Woody Allen was just becoming established as America’s resident neurotic, doing nightclub monologues, I wrote the first long magazine piece that took note of his arrival. It ended like this:
“If people come away relating to me as a person,” Allen says, “rather than just enjoying my jokes; if they come away wanting to hear me again, no matter what I might talk about, then I’m succeeding.” Judging by the returns, he is. Wood Allen is Mr. Related-To, and he seems a good bet to hold the franchise for many years.
Yet he does have a problem all his own, unshared by, unrelated to, the rest of America. “I’m obsessed,” he says, “by the fact that my mother genuinely resembles Groucho Marx.”
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