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David Wain
Wain at the 2010 Streamy Awards
David Benjamin Wain

(1969-08-01) August 1, 1969 (age 51)
Alma materNew York University
  • Comedian
  • actor
  • director
  • writer
Years active1991–present
Zandy Hartig
(m. 2009; div. 2015)

David Benjamin Wain (born August 1, 1969) is an American comedian, writer, actor, and director. He has co-written and directed six feature films, including Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Role Models (2008) and Wanderlust (2012). He has also served as a producer, writer and director on number of television series, including Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Childrens Hospital and Medical Police. He has had small roles in most of the films and TV series he has produced or directed. He also had a starring voice role, as the Warden, on the 2008-2014 animated Adult Swim series Superjail!

Wain got his start in entertainment in college, as a member of the sketch comedy troupe The State. The group had their own TV show on MTV from 1993 to 1995, The State, for which Wain directed many of the sketches. Wain is also member of comedy group Stella, along with two other members of The State. The three wrote and starred in short films called the Stella shorts, as well as the 2005 TV series Stella.

Early life

Wain was born to a Jewish family[1][2] in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the son of Nina (née Saul) and Norman Wain.[3] As a young man, Wain went to a summer camp in Canaan, Maine, on which Wet Hot American Summer was loosely based.


In 1988 while attending NYU film school, Wain became a founding member of the sketch comedy group The New Group. This group later came to be known as The State, and in 1993 he and his fellow members created and starred in The State, a sketch show that lasted 26 episodes on MTV. Wain and Michael Patrick Jann directed most of the show's sketches.

In 1997, Wain, Michael Ian Black, and Michael Showalter formed the comedy trio Stella.

Wain's first feature film, Wet Hot American Summer (2001), was an absurdist summer camp comedy starring Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Ken Marino and Elizabeth Banks. Wain directed the film, and co-wrote and co-produced it with Showalter, who also plays a lead role.

His second feature film The Ten, starring Winona Ryder and Paul Rudd (and a large ensemble cast of well-known actors), had a short theatrical run and was released on DVD on January 15, 2008.

Wain's third feature, Role Models, starring Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jane Lynch and Elizabeth Banks, was his first widely released film. Released in theaters on November 7, 2008, the film received positive reviews from critics and fans alike, as well as earning $19 million on its opening weekend.[4]

Wain starred in a web series titled Wainy Days on the website My Damn Channel, which ran for five seasons and ended in January 2012. The series follows a fictionalized version of Wain through his everyday life as he tries to romance numerous women and discusses his problems with his friends at the sweatshop where he works. Elizabeth Banks, Jonah Hill, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Corddry, Thomas Lennon, Josh Charles, Paul Rudd, and Michael Ian Black, and various other Stella, The State and Wet Hot American Summer alumni have all guest-starred in various episodes. The recurring cast included A.D. Miles, Matt Ballard and Zandy Hartig, who was instrumental in the creation of the series.

Wain performing with a USO tour in 2015
Wain performing with a USO tour in 2015

As one third of the comedy troupe Stella, Wain has co-hosted the long running nightclub show in New York City, toured the United States and made a series of shorts with the group, and eventually help create a 2005 series on Comedy Central based on their routines.

Wain is featured as the voice of The Warden in the animated series Superjail!. He was a featured commentator in the I Love the 70s series, I Love the 90s Part Deux series, and the weekly VH1 show Best Week Ever.. With The State, Wain co-wrote the book State by State with The State. He has appeared in such movies as The Baxter, Keeping the Faith and Role Models. Wain's fourth feature film, Wanderlust, was released on February 24, 2012. It stars Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Malin Akerman and Alan Alda. Wain directed the film, from a screenplay he wrote with Ken Marino, and has a cameo in the film as a TV weatherman.

His fifth feature They Came Together was released in June 2014. The cast includes Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, and Christopher Meloni. Wain and Showalter co-wrote the eight-episode Netflix prequel Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp based on the 2001 film with almost the entire cast of the original film returning. The series premiered on July 31, 2015, and was more well received by critics. He returned to co-write and direct another Netflix sequel Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, which premiered in 2017.[5]

Personal life

Wain lives in Los Angeles. He has two sons and is divorced from Zandy Hartig, an actress and producer.[6][7]



Title Year Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer Actor Role
Aisle Six 1992 Yes Yes Yes Short film; also Editor
Keeping the Faith 2000 Yes Steve Posner
Bamboozled Yes Bunning
Wet Hot American Summer 2001 Yes Yes Yes Yes Paco Co-producer
The Third Date 2003 Yes Ralph Short film
Along Came Polly 2004 Yes Wedding Videographer Uncredited
The Baxter 2005 Yes Louis Lewis
Delirious 2006 Yes Byron
The Ten 2007 Yes Yes Yes Yes Abe Grossman / Cartoon Voices
Reno 911!: Miami Yes Breen the Plumber
Puberty: The Movie Yes Principal Kirkpatrick
The Guitar 2008 Yes Phone Man
Role Models Yes Yes Yes Chevron Baine
I Love You, Man 2009 Yes Wedding Photographer
Sleepwalk with Me 2012 Yes Pete
Wanderlust Yes Yes Yes
Thanks for Sharing Yes Addict #2
Hell Baby 2013 Yes Dr. Marsden
She Said, She Said Yes Mediator Short film
They Came Together 2014 Yes Yes Yes Yes Keith Executive producer
Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot 2015 Yes Executive producer
Brother Nature 2016 Yes Uncle Mel
The Second Sound Barrier Yes Short film
Fun Mom Dinner 2017 Yes Wayne
My Dead Dad's Porno Tapes 2018 Short film; also Narrator
A Futile and Stupid Gesture Yes Yes Yes Interviewer Executive producer
Under the Eiffel Tower Yes Frank
Dog Days Yes Wacky Wayne


Title Year Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer Actor Role
You Wrote It, You Watch It 1992–1993 Yes Yes Yes Various characters
The State 1993–1995 Yes Yes Yes Various characters
The State's 43rd Annual
All-Star Halloween Special
1995 Yes Yes Yes Various characters Television special
The Daily Show 1996 Correspondent
Apartment 2F 1997 Yes Yes Yes David Segment: "Finishing the Novel"
Random Play 1999 Yes Yes Various characters
Strangers with Candy 2000 Yes Episode: "The Blank Page"
Mad TV 2000–2001 Yes
Sheep in the Big City 2000–2002 Yes Yes Stu (voice) Episode: "Belle of the Baaah"
Crank Yankers 2003 Yes Al Foster #1 / David 2 episodes
Reno 911! 2003, 2008 Yes Sam / Sensual Masseuse 2 episodes
Cheap Seats without Ron Parker 2004 Yes Brian Lewis Episode: "High-School Cheerleading"
Stella 2005 Yes Yes Yes Yes David 10 episodes
Entourage 2006 Yes Agent Episode: "Three's Company"
Wainy Days 2007–2011 Yes Yes Yes Yes David
Superjail! 2007–2014 Yes The Warden (voice)
Childrens Hospital 2008–2016 Yes Yes Yes Yes Rabbi Jewy McJewJew / various characters
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! 2009 Yes Shell Dante Episode: "Hair"
Party Down 2010 Yes Episode: "Not on Your Wife Opening Night"
New Girl 2012 Yes Yes Male Race Participant Episode: "Secrets"
Comedy Bang! Bang! 2012 Yes Gordon Thatchet Episode: "Elizabeth Banks Wears a Red Dress"
Bob's Burgers 2012–2019 Yes Courtney / Grover (voice) 7 episodes
Burning Love 2013 Yes Reg Durjmah Episode: "Dancing!"
The Greatest Event in Television History 2013 Yes Bell Taint Episode: "Hart to Hart"
Key & Peele 2013 Yes Person at People Park #6 Episode: "#3.13"
Newsreaders 2013–2015 Yes Yes Yes Yes Jim Davidson
Married 2014 Yes David Episode: "Waffles & Pizza"
A to Z 2014 Yes Episode: "F Is for Fight, Fight, Fight!"
Broad City 2015 Yes Maureen's Ex Episode: "Coat Check"
Weird Loners 2015 Yes Howard 2 episodes
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 2015 Yes Maternity Episode: "Paid Family Leave"
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp 2015 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yaron
Another Period 2015–2018 Yes Albert Downsy Jr. 14 episodes
Younger 2016 Yes Hugh Shirley 2 episodes
Drunk History 2016–2019 Yes Thomas Jefferson / Julius Caesar 2 episodes
Fresh Off the Boat 2017 Yes Reggie Episode: "Living with Eddie"
Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later 2017 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yaron / Bill Clinton
Portlandia 2018 Yes Brad Episode: "Open Relationship"
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 2018 Yes Dr. Pratt Episode: "Nathaniel Is Irrelevant."
Teachers 2018–2019 Yes Pastor Ted 3 episodes
Tuca & Bertie 2019 Yes (voice) 2 episodes
Superstore 2019–2020 Yes Dan 2 episodes
Medical Police 2020 Yes Yes Yes
Big City Greens 2021 Yes Ronald Featherman (voice) Episode: "Winter Greens"


  1. ^ The Jewish Chronicle: "'I’ve always been seen by other people as Jewish'" by Stephen Applebaum November 14, 2017
  2. ^ Grantland: "Grantland Q&A: David Wain on ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ On-Set Hookups, and Paul Rudd’s Aging Secrets"by Rachel Handler July 31, 2015
  3. ^ "Nina Wain Obituary". The Palm Beach Post. West Palm Beach, Florida: Palm Beach Newspapers Inc. July 8, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2016 – via
  4. ^ IMDB | Role Models – Box Office
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 19, 2016). "Alyssa Milano Joins Season 2 Of 'Wet Hot American Summer'". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  6. ^ "Bio —". 2015-07-31. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  7. ^ "The Force Awakens: One Woman's Conversion". 2016-01-09. Retrieved 2016-10-27.