Worked With:

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Jon Stewart


Rob Corddry


H. Jon Benjamin


Thomas Middleditch


Zooey Deschanel


Scott Aukerman


Adam Scott


Paul F Tompkins

David Wain Biography


Home > Actors > W > Wain, David > Biography


Birth Name: David Wain
Born: 08/01/1969
Birth Place: Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA


Wain was born on Aug. 1,1969 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. Originally called "The New Group," Wain and his new sketch partners wrote up skits and prepared for their first live performances, which caught on with audiences. In 1990, the group landed their big break opening for comedian Dennis Miller, and the show marked Wain's first paid gig as a performer. That same year, the New Group played numerous shows in the city and built up a strong, loyal audience, hungry for their brand of parody and whip-smart humor. 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 served as their our own cast and crew,for a show called "You Wrote It, You Watch It" (MTV, 1992-93), hosted by a pre-"The Daily Show" Jon Stewart. Now rebranded The State, the sprawling troupe was finally able to make a living off their comedy. The show was cancelled after one season, though Wain's career was only just beginning.

Reviews for the show were initially harsh, though decent ratings earned it the green light for a second season. As the show gained traction with audiences and critics, the group left MTV for CBS after their third season wrapped in an attempt to grab a larger audience and bigger success. While the deal was dead in the water, it gave Wain an opportunity to focus on alternative projects, namely a weekly nightclub act called "Stella" which he performed along with fellow State members Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter. The now classic-dapper comedy trio created one of the first internet web series, featuring a series in short films from 1998-2002, and then a television series, "Stella" (Comedy Central, 2005). A rumored Stella film was said to be in "early gestation," as Wain continued to work and perform with Stella alums. A few years later in 2001, Wain made the leap to directing feature films while juggling endless projects on the side.

Despite racking up feature film credits, Wain found time to actively cultivate his smaller projects, co-developing the successful medical drama parody "Children's Hospital" (Adult Swim, 2010-). Never one to slack off between major projects, Wain also created and starred in the web series "Wainy Days" (My Damn Channel, 2007-), featuring a fictionalized Wain dealing with the ups and downs of romance and friendship while making out with as many leading ladies as possible. Wain also lent his voice to the animated series, "Superjail!" (Adult Swim 2007-) and continued to make cameos in films and direct sitcom episodes.

An avid squash player, Wain lived in Manhattan with his wife and their two sons. After directing his biggest-budget movie to date, "Wanderlust," (2012) he proved once again that America's future mainstream comedies were in capable hands. Co-written by "The State" alum and longtime collaborator Ken Marino, "Wanderlust" stars Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as a workaholic New York couple who lose their jobs and seek financial refuge and answers in communal life -- filled with free-love hippies, hallucinogens and questionable clothing options. While the film garnered mixed reviews, it never quite lived up to Wain's other directorial effort with Rudd, "Role Models" (2008). As someone with a reputation for creating a fun and improvisational set, Wain has kept a stable of writers and actors that he continuously works with. Rudd starred in all of Wain's feature films, including "The Ten" (2007) and his directorial break-out film, "Wet Hot American Summer" (2001). While "The Ten" mostly flopped at the box-office, its series of comedic vignettes based on the 10 commandments was still wholly original and contained some great cameos, most notably one by Winona Ryder. Despite flying completely under the radar during its release, "Wet Hot American Summer" lived on as an '80s camp spoof classic, launching the careers of then relatively unknowns: Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks and Amy Poehler. Wain and other cast-members have hinted at a sequel in the works, much to the delight of comedy nerds everywhere.