As part of the editing, writing, performing, directing, and production team of The State, David Wain has helped refurbish the kind of comedy that demands an acquired taste. Wain began his long-term creative partnerships with Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black as one of the creators of the popular series, which aired on MTV in the mid-'90s and developed a devoted fan base through its two-year onscreen duration.
A native of the Cleveland area, Wain was born on August 1, 1969, in Shaker Heights, OH, where he lived until he relocated to New York City to attend film school at N.Y.U. In 1991, he directed a short film entitled Aisle Six, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival two years later. Collaborations with Showalter and Black continued since The State, adding numerous television writing, directing, and performance credits to Wain's resumé, in addition to his contributions to live New York nightclub productions of a show called Stella. In 2000, Wain made small-role appearances in Edward Norton's Keeping the Faith and Spike Lee's Bamboozled.
Wain made his feature-length directorial debut in 2001 with Wet Hot American Summer (co-written by Wain and Showalter), a satirical comedy reflective of '80s coming-of-age flicks and summer camp which featured David Hyde Pierce, Janeane Garofalo, Molly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Marguerite Moreau, and others. The film's comedic style caused mixed critical reactions, and box-office success was stifled in part by distribution limitations. However, State and other absurdist comedy fans lucky enough to find it in their local theaters were struck delirious by the feature, which was infused with former State actors and bizarre, self-aware humor.