The Online TV Site   . . . Get Sucked In




Show Site
BlackHoleOnline Page
Bret Silverberg Q&A With David Wain
February 1, 2009
David Wain, co-creator of the classic comedy troupe The State, which spawned Reno-911, Stella and the feature film Wet Hot American Summer, took to the Internet last year to write, direct and star in his own “fictionalized life” known as Wainy Days. The lead character, “David Wain” played by David Wain, sets out to succeed romantically with women—one gal pal per episode to be exact—and fails at every try. Wain discusses his award winning comedy and the state of Internet television in this exclusive interview with Black Hole Online

Black Hole Online: How much of the real life David Wain is your character on Wainy Days?

David Wain: I would say half. It’s definitely based on real experiences I had for many years being single, a lot of my awkwardness and sort of odd behavior comes from real life but a lot of it is just imagined.

BHO: So you don’t actually walk around New York shoving people over?

DW: That’s right.

BHO: You have been involved in many projects, but mostly you’ve been a behind the scenes guy. When and why did you decide to get in front of the camera for Wainy Days?

DW: Well, I’ve always been a performer. I did The State starting when I was 18-years-old. I’ve basically been a performer my whole life. I’ve always done all of it. I guess when My Damn Channel approached me to do Wainy Days it seemed like an opportunity to do something that was very much more personal, my own. It seemed more organic that I would be the guy in front of the camera for that as well.

BHO: Did it take you some time to come up with the idea for the show?

DW: It didn’t really because it was sort of an idea that I had going around about a show where every episode is about trying to meet another girl and it not working out. I’ve always thought that was interesting. When they approached me and said you can basically do whatever you want, we just want a series of shorts for the Web, it seemed like the perfect length and format for that. As with most things that I’ve felt better about in my career, it came fairly organically.

BHO: I would often describe the world you live in, in Wainy Days, as sort of “hyper-realistic,” one in which it wouldn’t be absurd for a date to start making out with the waiter. Where does this style of humor come from?

DW: Well a lot of it really is ever so slight exaggeration of my real experiences, where I thought I was doing well here and it turns out not at all. I enjoy exploring the nature of what’s realistic and then mixing it in with what’s absurd, or, what’s a fantasy. Like pushing people down on the street was always a fantasy. It’s sort of like what happens if you break the rules?

BHO: There are several cameos in the show from celebrities all across the entertainment world. Did you have any favorite characters by any of the guest stars?

DW: One of the things I loved about doing this was bringing in all these actors I love and being able to do something with them. Everyone came and created their little character for the piece. My favorite thing about it was being able to work with those different people. There wasn’t a one favorite really there’s just so many.

BHO: Were you shooting Wainy Days while directing Role Models and producing Children’s Hospital? If so, was it daunting to do all three at the same time?

DW: It was incredibly difficult. It was the craziest year I’ve ever had, easily. We were writing and shooting Role Models at the same time because we just never had time to finish the script, so we were writing the movie as we were figuring out how to shoot it. In between the cracks, on weekends or during lunch or whatever, I was editing, writing, producing, directing and shooting Wainy Days. I also had my first child this winter. It was the craziest year I’ve ever had.

BHO: Wainy Days won a Webby Award? Was that a major notch in your belt?

DW: I don’t know what a notch is really. It was nice. There was a ceremony. I got an (pauses) object…in the mail.

BHO: What was the object?

DW: It’s like, the Webby award, sort of a coil.

BHO: I thought it would be a computer statuette or something like that.

DW: Yeah…no. (laughs)

BHO: What are some differences in making a TV show for the Internet as opposed to television.

DW: In my case it was just that there was a lot less bullshit to deal with. All my time was spent trying to make it funny. I didn’t have anybody giving me any notes or telling me what to do or giving me any parameters at all. For creative purposes, that’s just the most fun way to work. You can just put all your effort thinking about nothing more than that. It was just a blast.

BHO: In the future, are you going to be focusing more on Web TV projects?

DW: I think I’m going to continue to be doing what I’ve always done, which is all different stuff. I like the variety. I have no particular intention to focus exclusively on any one thing, as I never have done.

BHO: Do you think that Web TV is sort of the wave of the future for comedy? Do you see it as the medium that will provide far more opportunities for both established people in comedy or people just starting out?

DW: I think it certainly already has done that. The whole nature of all comedy is changing very fast and furious right now. The Web shows that people are making are definitely a big part of it. There’s really no telling what direction things are going in. Technology is moving fast and business models are changing and shifting. In some ways things are in disarray, but I think it’s very exciting.

BHO: Will there be any more Wainy Days episodes?

DW: Oh yeah. I’m not sure exactly when or exactly what form or where, but, yeah, for sure.

BHO: Are there any other projects in which you will be involved in the foreseeable future?

DW: I’m performing with my old troupe The State in San Francisco in January and I’m continuing to tour with Stella. Otherwise I’m writing a bunch of stuff for a possible movie and TV.

BHO: Is there anything, either you’re involved in or not, to watch for in ’09?

DW: I would say watch for the utter total collapse of our financial system as we know it. I think we’re all involved in that.

BHO: Has it affected you and your projects?

DW: I don’t know yet. Oh, the Role Models DVD, watch out for that too. Maybe it will affect how many people buy the DVD.

 Copyright © 2009  F. R. Perro Inc.