‘Wainy Days’ — A Web Video Classic
By “The Reviewer”
We rated it:
With it essentially being “Comedy Week” at VideoInk, I figured one of our weekly reviews should be of an all-time classic: “Wainy Days,” from writer, comedian, and filmmaker David Wain.
The popular thought about web video is that traditional media stars can’t make it here, or at least, it’s very difficult for them to find success on the web. It’s a different world, after all. With different rules that govern how people consume and interact with your content. In fact, talk to anyone after YouTube’s first 100 channels initiative, and most would say the site tried too hard to fund celebrities who had no concept of what it would take to succeed on YouTube.
So why is it that “Wainy Days,” created, written, and directed by David Wain (“Wet Hot American Summer,” “Role Models,” “Stella”), has managed to get six seasons?
The answer is, really, it doesn’t take a genius to know that being funny goes a long way in finding an audience online. And if the show comes from an incredibly gifted, creative mind, who also happens to have a fervent fanbase who has followed him around for over a decade, then that’s just gravy.
“Wainy Days” follows Wain, playing a fictionalized version of himself, as he tries to navigate the increasingly difficult and often absurd dating scene in NY. Over the course of five seasons, the man has been lucky enough to date the likes of Amanda Peet, Elizabeth Banks, Julie Bowen, Lake Bell, and Rosemarie DeWitt, among others. Each time, something goes horribly wrong, and David finds himself back on the prowl.
But to anyone who has watched the series, it has very little to do with the plot. More, it’s a place for Wain to test out his brand of comedy, absurdist humor that comes at you lightning-fast, very rarely stopping for a minute to take a break once it gets going.
To this day, “Wainy Days” is responsible for maybe the greatest pun-joke of all time, and maybe the greatest joke of all time, overall. In a Season Three episode called “The Waindow,” David invites Elizabeth Reaser into his house. And as he is showing her around, he points to somewhere off the screen and says: “This is where the magic happens.” The place he is pointing to isn’t a bedroom, or a futon, or couch, it’s a table stocked with magician’s equipment, from a wand to a live rabbit.
Maybe me describing it kills the joke, but I hope it doesn’t, because I remember when I first watched the episode, and saw that line, I had to pause to finish laughing, and was simply amazed that no one had thought of that joke — that perfect joke — before. It was so simple and so brilliant. And in a lot of ways, that’s “Wainy Days” in a nutshell.
The show doesn’t try to do too much. It doesn’t worry about having the highest-quality production values, it’s a simple story of a screw-up named David, and all of the different types of trouble he keeps on getting himself into.
“Wainy Days” does what the best type of comedies do, it makes you wish you had come up with the joke.
The sixth season of “Wainy Days” is coming back to My Damn Channel, and will also be available on Blip for an exclusive period of time before it’s published on YouTube.