Comedian David Wain is a busy guy. In between directing movies like The Ten and performing live comedy with his group Stella, Wain created and stars in My Damn Channel‘s web series Wainy Days. You might recognize the show from a recent episode starring Paul Rudd called The Pickup, which scored more than 1.2 million plays on YouTube.
Wainy Days is a fictionalized account of Wain’s life as he tries to find romance, which, if you go back and watch a bunch of old episodes, seems like an excuse for him to make out with a parade of different hot women. But the series works, because rather than allowing one element to take over, it pulls from a lot of influences — it’s part romantic comedy, part oddball, part satire.
“I love working online,” said Wain. “I love the freedom. There are no sort of executives. I like that it’s fast and inexpensive. You can shoot something and have it online in minutes.”
Of course, Wain is no stranger to bite-sized bits of comedy, so there was no real adjustment to creating content for the web. “My experience is mostly working in short form,” said Wain. “My movies have been sort of sketch pieces — or The State on MTV. One of the first online set of shorts that really went around the web were the Stella shorts that went around in 1998.”
It’s through his entertainment connections that Wain is able to bring a number of — well, calling them “celebrities” might be an overstatement — but definitely a mix of recognizable people like Julie Bowen, Jonah Hill and Chris Parnell to appear in the series. Wain admits that the WGA strike is helping: “It’s one of the reasons I’ve gotten these writers, actors and directors.”
While Wain has found success in old teevee and films, he has no plans to abandon the Internet. He’s finishing up the first run of Wainy Days for MyDamnChannel, after which he’ll pause to see what happens next. “I don’t think of the web as this niche thing to do; the line between the conventional and new media is blurring,” said Wain. “I think there’s just content; the power of the networks is dwindling. There’s money to be made on the web. There’s top-level people working on the web, in every capacity. The Web is an end to its own not just a stepping stone.”