I am the director of movies such as Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models and TV shows like The State, Stella, and Childrens Hospital. My new movie (written w/Michael Showalter) They Came Together opens this Friday, June 27th, in theaters and on demand.

davidwain.com or @davidwain

Thanks everyone that was very fun. I'm wrapping up for now but I'll try to check back and answer a few more when I can. And I'm shamelessly begging you all to check out the new movie this weekend - get a group together! Make it a thing! xoxo DW

Comments: 284 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

rcc1330 karma

Do you, Michael, and Michael ever plan on touring Stella again?

DavidWain4Real21 karma

Yes, for sure. Don't know when though - we're all pretty busy.

nightgolf29 karma

David, how much money was spent on actual pudding for $240 Worth of Pudding?

DavidWain4Real34 karma


1031films23 karma

David... They Came Together has two of the most popular actors on the planet in Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler.. Why isn't the studio putting more weight behind it? Your casting is so spot on.

DavidWain4Real31 karma

I really don't know.

livstabler21 karma

Is it true Netflix is airing the WHAS prequel as a tv show? If so, when/where does filming start?

DavidWain4Real20 karma

Still figuring all that out.

scfowl20 karma

Funk ROCK or FUNK rock?

DavidWain4Real18 karma

Always switching off, I toggle between both stations on Sirius

Frajer15 karma

Do you write roles with Paul Rudd in mind? Were you surprised by how successful the cast of Wet Hot American Summer became or did you know?

DavidWain4Real22 karma

I knew for sure it was a special group -- certainly had no idea how many would get so big. Some roles were written with Paul in mind - others re-written for him.

Honourably-Disagree14 karma

Hi David! What does Paul Rudd smell like? and is it what entices you to keep working with him?

DavidWain4Real24 karma

He smells like a combination of Polo cologne and ass. That, and his wit, are what keeps me coming back.

Thompson_14 karma

What are the chances of you guys making a Stella movie?

DavidWain4Real35 karma

We would love to do it, and have an idea for it. It's just a question of us making time, and more importantly, someone having enough interest in it to pay for it to get made!

bu77munch14 karma

Why do Michael and Michael always yell at you? It's not nice.

DavidWain4Real14 karma

It's a question for them.

Nicebirdie11 karma

Rabbi Jewy McJewjew, you're unquestionably Jewish, but you're also the only Jew I've seen with a "Mc" in a Jewish last name. Why?

Edit: Wainy Days 👍

DavidWain4Real25 karma

Born to Irish Catholic parents. Bryan and Catherine McJewJew

smashdude5011 karma

What is your favourite episode of Childrens Hospital?

DavidWain4Real20 karma

I really like so many. Some that come to mind:

  • Hot Enough For You
  • Sultans Finger
  • End of the Middle
  • Wisedocs
  • Lawspital
  • Year in the Life

And this next (6th!) season is going great - we're shooting now, will air next year.

The_Best_Dong10 karma

How many takes were needed for the mirror scene in Wanderlust?

DavidWain4Real11 karma

It was the end of our very first day of shooting, so we were running out of time. We only had one camera set-up (with two cameras) and we did two takes.

mkronfeld10 karma

Ken Marino seems to get himself into douchebag roles. Is that typecasting or is he just that good of an actor?

DavidWain4Real50 karma

He's just a big douchebag. Can't act, unfortunately.

VideoGameAttorney10 karma

How sexual is Scott Aukerman in real life? I could really feel the chemistry there on the podcast.

DavidWain4Real11 karma

He's a very sexual person, but he also knows when to keep his libido in check. It's a great quality.

BrockThrowaway9 karma

Hey David! I just tried to creep your Instagram link from your website, and there's a missing "w"!

My question is: How dare you forget it?

DavidWain4Real8 karma

Oh shit I will fix that!

kronicfeld9 karma

  1. David, would it be fair to say that New York City is treated as another living, breathing character in They Came Together? And how does it feel being literally the first filmmaker ever to treat The Big Apple in such a way on film?

  2. Better mustache: Ben Garant or Tom Lennon?

  3. Not a question, but my wife and I used “Love Take Me Down to the Streets” as our cake-cutting song at our wedding. Thanks for putting such a great Wings hit on your Role Models soundtrack!

DavidWain4Real16 karma

David, would it be fair to say that New York City is treated as another living, breathing character in They Came Together?

I don't know if you meant that as a joke but New York City is seriously such a big part of They Came Together that it's almost like another character.

And how does it feel being literally the first filmmaker ever to treat The Big Apple in such a way on film?

A true honor and amazing it hasn't been done yet.

wife and I used “Love Take Me Down to the Streets” as our cake-cutting song at our wedding.


Elucida9 karma

Curious, but David Wain, what is the most memorable and/or weirdest request you’ve gotten from the Superjail! crew when voice acting as the Warden? Thank you in advanced, and it’s an honor to be able to be part of this AMA with you, David Wain! (:

DavidWain4Real8 karma

Thank you! They are always asking me to do weird grunts and screams and howls. I just trust that they know what they're looking for and will put it together!

BattleRoyali8 karma

Hi David, I'm a huge fan of your work. That said, why is "They Came Together" no longer scheduled to play in San Francisco? Is this some attempt to break my heart? Because it's working.

DavidWain4Real13 karma

I'm so sorry! I guess the theater there doesn't play DCP which is the digital format our studio (Lions Gate) requires. It's a huge bummer, I agree. SF is one of my favorite cities to perform, etc.

flythedelorean7 karma

Do you have any gum?

DavidWain4Real18 karma

Thought you'd never ask.

vickj147 karma

Wainy Days is the best! Are more Wainy Days on the proverbial horizon?

DavidWain4Real19 karma

Not sure I understand your use of the word "proverbial".

headst017 karma

do you like moesha?

DavidWain4Real18 karma

[X] YES [ ] NO

ThirdProject6 karma

I saw you at Stella Live in Boston. Great show, and when the three of you piled out to shake hands and sign autographs, you somehow attained and worked halfway through a pastrami sandwich between walking off stage and hitting the lobby 2 minutes later. It was amazing and confusing at the same time.

My question is about Michael Ian black, who you've appeared alongside and directed for decades.

What the fuck is his problem?

DavidWain4Real7 karma

Great question. Long answer. Maybe read his book.

cardcastleruins6 karma

Who's your favorite up and coming comedian?

DavidWain4Real25 karma

John Boehner

mus1c6 karma

Who the hell is Marcus!?!

DavidWain4Real14 karma

I know.

you_ruin_everything6 karma

DAVID!!! There was a rumor going around that Paul Rudd had a lot of trouble working with Jane Lynch because she was constantly farting. I don't know if there is any validity to that. Did something like that happen?

DavidWain4Real7 karma

That's been blown out of proportion. She farted ONCE during the Role Models shoot, but it was in the privacy of her own bathroom at home and she took a shower afterward.

entertayneyou5 karma

Mr. Wain, when can we expect a Wainy Weeks premiere? Is it in pre-prod? Post? What's the scoop?!

DavidWain4Real8 karma

Good title!

drquuxum5 karma

David, thanks for providing me with quite a few laughs (among other things.) I kinda wish "The Jew, The Italian, & The Redhead Gay" were an actual reality show.

I recently watched Aisle Six. What was the inspiration behind that?

DavidWain4Real6 karma

thanks for providing me with quite a few laughs (among other things.)

What other things?

I kinda wish "The Jew, The Italian, & The Redhead Gay" were an actual reality show.

So you found it to be not truthful?

I recently watched Aisle Six. What was the inspiration behind that? Aisle Six was my student film at NYU - sort of a remake of sorts of a video I did in high school with my friend H. Michael Feldman, just fooling around with a VHS camera. (You can see it here)

RamsesThePigeon5 karma


DavidWain4Real7 karma

That's the classic catch-22 in this business - you need to be accepted in order to get accepted. You have to find some way to break through, and there's no one way - writing a spec script and getting someone to read it, making a video or short or movie and getting attention for it, doing a live show, anything to get noticed. I know it can be frustrating.

Lamurias5 karma

Do you have interest in doing something completely different from what you're known for, for example, a drama movie or a multi-camera sitcom?

DavidWain4Real10 karma

Definitely want to do a drama, yes. Also a musical.

ganachtigall5 karma

Hey David, what do you like better the story or the joke when you are directing?

DavidWain4Real8 karma

I feel like that might be a dis in the form of a question?

shizzlegizzle4 karma

Hey David Wain. I just wanted to say...........................................thanks?

DavidWain4Real7 karma

Wait! Shit.

supmyman74 karma

Is there another Superjail coming? What's your guilty pleasure TV show? What's the nerdiest thing you do?

DavidWain4Real12 karma

Superjail's new season is airing right now! New eps every Sunday night on Adult Swim!

My guilty pleasure TV show: NOVA.

Nerdiest thing I do: AMA

SoSayethTheHbomb4 karma

Hey David.

1/ When will you appear on the Topics podcast again? Hopefully soon.

2/Not a question, just letting you know I would give anything for another season of Stella. My friends and I all bought separate copies, wish there was more I could do. That show was killer. To anyone reading that hasn't seen it for some stupid reason, see it.

DavidWain4Real6 karma

I love doing "Topics" and will return any time they ask.

snowdong4 karma

Hi David. This is kind of long, but I'm wondering if you remember this.

Me and a few friends came to see a live taping of The State (1994, I'm guessing). On our drive to Queens, my car broke down somewhere on the BQE. Due to insane traffic and the breakdown, we were going to miss the early taping. There was a later one, so once my car was fixed (overheated), we headed on to see if we could get in. We were told, Nope, sorry. At some point, a friend of mine told your audience person that we had driven up from West Virginia, which was a lie. We came from New Jersey.

In between tapings, you guys came in to see the people who didn't get in to the show, and we were continuing with our West Virginia lie to see if it would have any sway. Someone told you, and you pulled some strings to get us in. During the taping, you then walked up the bleachers to the last row to where we were (you were wearing a tux for a sketch), and told everyone in the audience to be quiet. You then announced to everyone that we had come all the way from West Virginia. People applauded. We felt terrible. But I mean, we got to see The State.

So I apologize for lying to you, but wanted to thank you for doing what you did. It was super nice. We were just a bunch of dumb 18 year olds who really wanted to see The State.

So, my question is, do you remember that? That was awesome.

And, as should be no surprise to anyone, you were much nicer than Michael Ian Black.

DavidWain4Real7 karma

I can't believe you lied to me. Now I have to rethink everything that's happened since then.

LostCarroway3 karma

I wanted to let you know that I love everything that you've been a part of and I look forward to ever project that has your name attached. With all the different roles you've taken in many different productions, I would like to know which you find to be the most rewarding? (directing, writing, acting)

DavidWain4Real4 karma

Maybe because of ADD or I don't know, but I really love the fact that different parts of my job are changing all time. I love sitting by myself or with one partner and writing, then I love being on set with 100 people and navigating that madness. Then editing can be something in between. I like acting in other people's stuff, partly because it's such a nice change to have one specific function to worry about instead of the whole thing.

Planet-man3 karma

Hey David! thbbbt

Wet Hot American Summer is genuinely my favourite film of all time, period, not just as a comedy with a lot of laughs, but as an aching tribute to the entire teenage experience. I was a high school senior in 2007 when I first saw it(having been a Stella obsessee for several years from the show followed by the shorts) and generally felt like I was missing out on everything I wanted from being a teen(especially having never been to summer camp). The film became a lightning rod for all those feelings and it got to the point where I’d just be watching it multiple days in a row, desperate not to leave Camp Firewood, tearing up at songs in the talent show and Ben and McKinley’s wedding scene. It was completely constructive in the long run though and a huge part of how happy I am today stems from years of striving for those great Wet Hot-esque situations with friends, family, locations, etc and achieving them. Every summer I watch that film and love it more and more.

So, my humble questions:

1) Will Stella ever finally do a standup show in Toronto? I’ve been fortunate enough to see MIB and Showalter individually here and they were magical. I’m desperate for the trifecta!

2) If a WHAS sequel were to take place entirely on August 18th, 1991, the reunion day, what would end up happening? I always envision it as the kind of ultimate ‘90s grad student finding themselves movie, the way the original is kind of the ultimate early-80s teen movie.

Thanks for doing this AMA! You’re genuinely one of my heroes and Stella is hugely responsible for the way my entire sense of humour works. NOBODY succeeds at truly absurdist humour the way you guys effortlessly do, though many imitators get too much credit for trying. Will be seeing They Came Together in theaters for sure!

DavidWain4Real4 karma

Your story is great and means a lot, thank you.

Will Stella ever finally do a standup show in Toronto?

Would love to.

chillspector3 karma

Who drank the most on set of Wet Hot American Summer?

DavidWain4Real3 karma

A big tie between a lot of the cast.

livstabler3 karma

How come Chris Meloni isn't higher up the food chain in your shows? Don't you like him??

DavidWain4Real3 karma

Wait till you see They Came Together!

FranklinRULES3 karma

How many CAT machines were used in The Ten?

DavidWain4Real5 karma


rcc133 karma

How often do you come back to the Cleveland area, and what are your favorite places around Cleveland?

DavidWain4Real7 karma

I go back as often as I can, my family's still there. I'm an east sider so I love Horseshoe Lake, metroparks, Chagrin Falls, etc.

pdbaird13 karma

Alright, as a huge fan I'd love to know, what's the story behind Jim Stansel? I could probably ask 20 more questions but I'm busy making a BIG tomato sauce!

DavidWain4Real6 karma

Jim Stansel was a man who my father worked with in the 70's. I just like the way the name sounds.

Velorium_Camper3 karma

Did you know a lot about LARPing before filming it in Role Models?

DavidWain4Real3 karma

I didn't. But did a lot of quick cramming research and met some amazing people in that world.

Bad50523 karma

-What inspired you to make Wet Hot American Summer? -What do you think of its cult status? I know personally at the summer camp I worked at we watched it many times. -what was your favorite moment during the filming of this?

DavidWain4Real9 karma

It was inspired by my (and Michael Showalter's) real life experiences at camp, more than anything. Also the practical desire to make a movie where we could cast all of our friends, that would be very cheap to shoot (all daytime exteriors, all one location, one costume per person, etc.)

CoreyDowd3 karma

Have you ever thought about the real meaning of 'Mayo Clinic'? Like, what do they treat, mayonnaise?

DavidWain4Real3 karma

I know - I really want to know what the deal is with that.

weathersman2 karma

Why were not in many sketches in the first season of The State? I rewatched recently and it was fairly noticeable.

DavidWain4Real2 karma

I wasn't that confident (or that great) of an actor, honestly, especially compared to the other guys (and girl) in the group. That side of it took longer for me to develop.

mcarusiello2 karma

David, how did you create my favorite character of all time, Greg Maddox? And will we ever see him again?

DavidWain4Real3 karma

Glad you liked Greg. The creation involved putting on a wig and talking funny.

drain_out_my_blood2 karma

So you like singing? Would the Warden ever sing Let It Go? Would you ever sing it in the Warden's voice?

DavidWain4Real3 karma

I'd really like to do that. Superjail producers listen up!

PerryLJackson2 karma

You are a huge comedic inspiration for me and one of by brother's favorites. Thanks for being so brilliant. Can't wait for They Came Together!

I know that recently, your name was mentioned as being in contention for a fairly big Marvel movie. I, personally, would love to see how you handle a blockbuster. Do you have any interest in doing so?

DavidWain4Real2 karma

If the material & timing was right I'd love to do something like that one day.

vickj142 karma

Did you like college?

DavidWain4Real3 karma

Yes. But I went to NYU so it was more like just living in the Village and taking classes and hanging out/doing shows with (what became) The State.

slave_to_technology2 karma

Hi Mr. Wain,

Would you care to comment on what's going on in Washington D.C? It seems like the circus came to town and never left. I know you have so much political insight, and I'd really like to hear your thoughts.

DavidWain4Real7 karma

Boy you don't want to get me started on that. You're right to call it a circus - only these clowns aren't so funny. And instead of elephants and lions, we have fat cats who only care about pork barrel spending and serving the corporate intere$ts. I'll tell you who loses in the equation: You and me. John Q. Taxpayer.

BrockThrowaway2 karma

Hey there David! I'm very excited for They Came Together, love Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd and everyone involved.

I'd like to ask, what you think was the defining moment in your career? And secondly, if they are different, what moment or creation was the "thing" that launched your career?

DavidWain4Real6 karma

Truly one of the most defining moments for me was LOSING a big job that I really really wanted. And realizing I wasn't going to quit trying at that point, made me realize that I'm in this for the long haul, and this is what I do.

LostCarroway2 karma

Which filmmakers really inspire you in your work? And can you please name any movie (not Breathless) by Godard

DavidWain4Real3 karma

Off top of my head: PT Anderson, Robert Altman, Woody Allen, Louis CK, Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh, Richard Linklater.

And can you please name any movie (not Breathless) by Godard

Why exclude Breathless? That was one of my very favorites of his.

catlinmichael2 karma

Hey David, I'm trying to get a Wet Hot American Summer tattoo, any chance you have a photo of Aaron "Gideon Jacobs" t-shirt in the film that shows the full decal on his t-shirt?

Do you think Aaron and Gail are still together?

DavidWain4Real8 karma

Hmm something I can look into. Aaron and Gail are definitely still together - Just had brunch with them at their place in the Hamptons.

dagam12262 karma

How the hell do you film a whole season of Children's Hospital in under a month? I know the episodes are relatively short but you guys seem to bring so much more with every new season...

DavidWain4Real3 karma

We have 2 days to shoot each episode. And even though they're only 11 minutes long they're basically the same number of scenes as an hour-long drama just condensed. So it's really hard and we have to be clever and fast!

ScottyNuttz2 karma

Hindsight being what it is, how does everyone feel about bringing that boiler now?

DavidWain4Real6 karma

Honestly, at the end of the day, looking back at things from the lens of how it all worked out, I'd have thought differently and perhaps not brought the boiler.

idgapho2 karma

I'm a huge fan! I can't believe you're doing an AMA, I'll have to call Marcus.

My question is, what's your favorite project that you've worked on in your career so far?

DavidWain4Real8 karma

Rampart - hope people will check it out.

ryanchapelle2 karma

David, I saw you at Zankou Chicken once and wanted to say 'sup, but decided to leave you alone with your chicken. So here's a belated 'sup. 'Sup!?

DavidWain4Real2 karma

'Sup. You getting the combo or...?

TheWatersBurning2 karma

David! You're my hero. I saw The State is reforming for a one-off at Festival Supreme. Would you think of getting the gang together for any shows outside of the fest?

Also, will there be any more Wainy Days coming soon? And why did you not win big awards for Role Models? Will you be my best man? Is Thomas Lennon really the best actor in comedy? Should I shut up now?

Hi David!

DavidWain4Real3 karma

We're always interested in doing State stuff - just so hard to coordinate schedules of eleven incredibly busy people.

Also, will there be any more Wainy Days coming soon?

I hope so - not sure when.

And why did you not win big awards for Role Models?

The Motion Picture Academy is resentful of my talent.

Will you be my best man?


Is Thomas Lennon really the best actor in comedy?

One of them.

Should I shut up now?


mysteriousvoid2 karma

i'm crazy about you voicing the warden on superjail! is there any truth to them ACTUALLY drawing the warden to look like you after they met you? because it's uncanny. in a good way, i promise.

DavidWain4Real3 karma

I think so!

Pfloyd3332 karma

David, I love nearly everything you've done. I have two questions for you.

How did you go about writting Stella? I have never laughed harder than when I watched the original shorts.

Do you have any tips for doing Comedy sketches/shorts with little to no money? I am currently trying to film some stuff and get noticed.

Thanks! Looking forward to the new movie.

DavidWain4Real5 karma

How did you go about writting Stella?

I guess kind of traditionally - for the TV series the three of us just sat around and talked about ideas, then charted out the stories, made outlines, then took turns taking passes on drafts.

The shorts were more just one of us would write something and we'd shoot it - not a lot of development!

Do you have any tips for doing Comedy sketches/shorts with little to no money?

Not really other than just go out there and do it. The more you do it the more you can learn.

LostCarroway2 karma

Mr. Wain, I was wondering how long you had been working on They Came Together, and what made you decide on this as your next project?

DavidWain4Real2 karma

We wrote it originally in 2002, but couldn't get it made at the time. We pulled it off the shelf to read out loud at a casual table read at the SF Sketchfest in 2012 - and the response to that inspired us to try again, this time with Paul and Amy, and with a very small budget.

um_something2 karma

Will the live radio play of WHAS that you performed at San Francisco Sketchfest a few years back ever be available on DVD?

P.S. Thank you so much for 20 years of pants-shitting laughter!

DavidWain4Real2 karma

We want to put it out on a DVD but there are music licensing issues (always the case - yuck) that make it problematic. Might still happen though.

captainsmilk1 karma

Is there anything in your work that you see as lacking? What does it look like to challenge yourself today? With comedy, life, sandwiches?

DavidWain4Real4 karma

I honestly feel like I'm still at the very very beginning of learning how to write and direct. This makes me happy knowing how much more there is to learn.

swaginite1 karma

Mr. Wain!

Big fan of all of your work. Wanderlust hit me especially hard because I live in Ithaca, NY, which is basically Elysium plus 30,000 people. I’ve witnessed at least 90% of the craziness from that movie in Ithaca, so it hit an especially sensitive part of my funny bone.

Anyway, regarding Stella, how much of that was improvised, and how much was planned out well ahead of time?

A scene that comes immediately to mind is the scene when you, MIB and MS find a poster hanging on a wall facing away from your line of vision. (I hope you know what scene I’m talking about… I believe it was the first episode).

Was that an on-the-cuff joke, or did that take some planning?


DavidWain4Real2 karma

regarding Stella, how much of that was improvised, and how much was planned out well ahead of time?

In general, more scripted / planned than it may seem. The poster thing was pre-planned I think.

Sisiwakanamaru1 karma

Hello, I showed the trailer of They Came Together to my friends and families and they liked it.

I have some questions for you:

  • What was it like to be working with the casts of this movie? Because the casts of this movie are brilliant.

  • Any development on Wet Hot American Summer franchise?

  • What is your favorite dessert?

DavidWain4Real3 karma

What was it like to be working with the casts of this movie? Because the casts of this movie are brilliant.

The best! Like working with a combo of old friends and new and everyone's having fun.

Any development on Wet Hot American Summer franchise?

Prequel in the works.

What is your favorite dessert?

Hmm. Birthday cake, brownies, bananas foster.

detekk1 karma

When are new "Children's Hospital" episodes arriving? I need more of that funny in my life.

DavidWain4Real3 karma

Shooting now, airing some time next year. Don't know exactly when.

BIGDAVE8111 karma

Is the Warden in Superjail anything like your true personality? Also, is Rob Corddry the funniest dude on the planet?

DavidWain4Real3 karma

I'm not too much like the Warden. I only wish I had that level of energy and physical flexibility.

Corddry - one of them!

chrisreverb1 karma

Hi David - what's your favorite Shudder to Think song? Do you see Craig Wedren often?

DavidWain4Real3 karma

I have so many - even though I grew up with Craig, separately it's my favorite band. I followed them on tour in the 90's shooting video footage.

Favorite songs - Hit Liquor, Kissi Penny, Red House, Love Catastrophe, Pebbles

Steebles19081 karma


I am also a Shaker Grad (2000) who studied under the late, great James Thornton. Can you share a formative story from your experiences back home?

DavidWain4Real2 karma

James Thornton was the theater teacher / guru at Shaker High school - I loved that man. No specific story comes to mind except for just a constant feeling he gave all of us there that we are all special and creative and that doing theater is important, and fun, and matters.