The New York Times has published a piece on the 100th birthday of Samuel Beckett. In the piece, they solicit comments from a number of playwrights about Beckett's influence on their works.
One of the playwrights contributing to the piece is Will Eno, who nearly won the Pulitzer last year for his somewhat Beckettian monologue Thom Pain (based on nothing), which vaulted to legendary status with the help of Mr. James Urbaniak's volcanic performance.
Indeed, the Times referred to Mr. Eno as "a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation."
Will Eno is a wonderful writer deserving of all the success that he's had. But I just want to point out that I was influenced by Beckett when Mr. Eno was in short pants. I yield to no man in my being influenced by Beckett, and yet somehow the New York Times never got around to asking me about it. That might have something to do with me not having a play run off-Broadway for fourteen years (and unsuccessfully at that), but I prefer to see it as blatant favoritism. Indeed, I have a sneaking suspicion that payoffs were made.
I can hear the discussions at the Theater desk:
EDITOR: So who are you gonna ask about the Beckett piece?
WRITER: Oh, the usual suspects. Mamet, Vogel, Durang, Guare, Eno.
EDITOR: What about that guy who co-wrote Antz? Isn't he a playwright?
WRITER: Chris Weitz?
EDITOR: No, the other one.
WRITER: Paul Weitz?
EDITOR: No, the OTHER one.
WRITER: Oh, you mean that Alcott guy?
EDITOR: Yeah, didn't he used to write plays with a heavy Beckettian influence?
WRITER: Yeah, but I didn't get a check from him.
Here are some indications of the depth and breadth of Beckett's influence on me and my work:
1. I have read everything that Beckett has written, usually more than once, and own at least one copy of each work, in English and in French (or whichever language the piece was originally written in).
2. I have a picture of myself standing in front of Beckett's house in Paris, as well as pictures of the front door of Les Editions du Minuit, his publishers (the door reads, in French, Please Enter, Do Not Ring).
3. I have seen productions of all of Beckett's plays, some of them many times, including many weird, distaff productions of prose works adapted awkwardly to the stage.
4. I own a copy of the Beckett On Film DVD set (my favorite is Anthony Mingella's film of Play).
5. I have a little metal bust of Samuel Beckett on top of my computer monitor. It features Beckett's head on top of an open book. I got it on Ebay.
6. I have three cats, named Didi, Gogo and Lucky.
7. My son's name is Samuel Alcott.
Your move, Mr. Eno.