David Wain comes home to promote Cleveland at film commission benefit

February 28, 2018 GMT

David Wain comes home to promote Cleveland at film commission benefit

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Director, actor, writer and hometown comedic hero David Wain (“The State,” “Wet Hot American Summer,” “A Futile and Stupid Gesture”) will be in Cleveland Friday, March 2. In the morning, he will be talking to high school students at Cuyahoga Community College about how to succeed in show business.

He will also be doing a benefit fundraiser at night for the Greater Cleveland Film Commission at Hilarities, inside Pickwick and Frolic restaurant on East Fourth Street downtown. He will be joined by his Shaker Heights High School contemporary and current fellow Hollywood director Jamie Babbit.

Wain, 48, called from Los Angeles where he lives with his wife, Zandy Hertig, and their children, 7 and 10.

“I lived in New York for 26 years. Now I’m out in L.A. where the weather is nice and the people are nice. My friends are out here, and this is where the work is,” he said.

When asked what advice he will dispense to the students at Tri-C, he was succinct and referenced his legendary father, Norman Wain from Cleveland radio station WIXY AM/1260. In the early 1960s, the elder Wain brought the Beatles to Cleveland not once, but twice: first at Public Hall, the second time at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. It put Cleveland forever on the musical map.

“Every person’s path in show business is wildly different. The main thing my father taught me was to get an education,” David Wain said. “Learn how to read and write. Become an interesting person. Because of technology these days, no one needs permission to make a film or career.

“You have the power to create your own future. Learn how to be a storyteller.”

Wain is eager for Cleveland to become a place where movies are made all the time. His latest movie, “A Futile and Stupid Gesture,” a history of the humor magazine National Lampoon, is currently available on Netflix. But his heart is still in Cleveland.

“I love coming back there. I’m bringing my 7-year-old with me this time. We just visited my dad in Florida for his 90th birthday. He’s still in Cleveland six months of the year I support the GCFC. I would like to see Cleveland become a place where people can make movies. Where I can make movies.”

Wain is currently acting in a new show on Comedy Central called “Another Period.”

“It’s right after ‘Drunk History’ on Comedy Central at 10:30 [p.m. Tuesdays].

“It takes place in 1902 in Newport, Rhode Island,” he said.

When asked how long he’s been performing comedy, the answer is quick.

“It started in Park Synagogue nursery,” he deadpanned.


Greater Cleveland Film Commission benefit

What: “Behind the Camera,” Ivan Schwartz interviews David Wain and Jamie Babbit.

When: 5:15 p.m. Friday, March 2. Registration at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Hilarities, inside Pickwick and Frolic, 2035 East Fourth St., Cleveland.

General admission: $75. Go to clevelandfilm.com/events/btc.