Banner image by Larry Hirshowitz
Robert Weide's penchant for documenting great comedians and thinkers started when, at the age of 22, he produced his first film about the Marx Brothers. Since that first film, which was broadcast on PBS in 1982, Weide has made films about W.C. Fields, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, and now, Woody Allen. Woody Allen: A Documentary premiered on PBS' American Masters series in 2011 and is now available on DVD. Weide also continues to work on a documentary about Kurt Vonnegut (which has been in production since 1988) and hopes to be finished sometime this year. In addition to making movies about the creative figures he loves, Weide was also the executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm for several years and recently won a DGA award for direction the "Palestinian Chicken" episode in the show's eighth season. This week, he talks to Elvis about the surprisingly serious art behind great comedy and how he managed to gain permission to shoot a documentary about one of Hollywood's most reclusive legends.