He was inspired by Mort Sahl.
…one night last month, as he sat in the audience at the Cafe Carlyle watching another legendary comic, Mort Sahl, work the room.
“Mort Sahl is the guy who inspired me to go on stage for the first time in my life, and when I saw him the other night, I had that feeling again of, ‘I can do this,’ ” Allen says a few days later over iced coffee in the Carlyle’s venerable bar, Bemelmans. After seeing Sahl at the Carlyle, Allen went home and YouTube’d some of the comedian’s vintage performances. “He was as great as I remembered,” says Allen. “So I thought, ‘Gee, it would be nice to get up there and do that again.’ ” Since then he’s been rifling through drawers, looking over some notes, and yes, thinking about putting together a routine. “It’s a lot of work,” Allen admits. “You have to put together an hour of laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh. You can’t dawdle. In a film script, if there’s a laugh here and there, but people interacting in a meaningful way, it’s good. But on stage, you come out and you’ve got to get a laugh, and then another and another.”