David Wain

David Wain

Wain was born on Aug. in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, OH. At the age of 10, he was given a simple camcorder by his father and started making home videos documenting his friends and surroundings of Shaker Heights. After graduating from high school, he moved to New York to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1987, and it was there that he met the other future members of "The State" comedy troupe. As buzz built around the group, Wain and fellow member Michael Ian Black pitched an idea for a new show to MTV, but the idea was rejected. The network was still interested in working with the troupe though, so Wain and company appeared in a show-lived variety series called "You Wrote It, You Watch It" (MTV, 1992-93), hosted by a pre-"The Daily Show" Jon Stewart. This was followed by "The State" (MTV 1993-95), on which the troupe served as their own writers, producers and directors as well as starring in the sketches, which provided Wain with crucial behind the scenes experience. After three seasons on MTV, The State moved to CBS to create a series of prime-time comedy specials. However, after "The State's 43rd Annual All-Star Halloween Special" debuted to dismal ratings and poor reviews, the group split up. Wain took the opportunity to form a comedy trio called Stella with fellow State alums Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter. Originally a weekly improv show, the trio filmed a series of web shorts between 1998 and 2002, which led to the absurdist series "Stella" (Comedy Central, 2005). Also during this period, Wain made his feature directing debut with "Wet Hot American Summer" (2001). A deadpan parody of '80s teen sex comedies scripted by Wain and Showalter, the film did little business upon release, but its cast of rising comedy stars included Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks and Molly Shannon along with several State alumni. Therefore, the film quickly found a cult audience and became a major cult favorite of the early 21st century comedy scene. Wain's second directorial feature, "The Ten" (2007) was a Biblical parody that found less success, but "Role Models" (2008), a knockabout comedy starring Rudd and Seann William Scott, became Wain's first mainstream hit. At the same time, Wain co-created the surreal comedy "Childrens Hospital" (Adult Swim 2008-) with Rob Corddry and Jonathan Stern, and wrote, directed and starred in the web series "Wainy Days" (2007-2011). Wain's third film, "Wanderlust" (2012), starred Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as a married couple encountering a laidback cult. This was followed by a pointed satire of romantic comedy clichés, "They Came Together" (2014) that starred Rudd and Poehler. After years of rumors, the cast and crew of "Wet Hot American Summer" regrouped for the eight-episode series "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp" (Netflix, 2015), which also brought in newer comedy heroes such as Kristen Wiig, Jordan Peele, and Jon Hamm.