That quote above? The one about enthusiasm and hatreds? That’s what Brad Bird said to Patton Oswalt when casting him in Ratatouille. Do you know Patton? Of course you do. He’s only the funniest living American stand-up comedian (I had to qualify that because, well, in truth, to me, the tip top twins of comedy are Mitch Hedberg and Eddie Izzard). Comedy is entirely subjective, this is truth, but you Pajiban readers, you fans of both geek and cutting wordsmithery, must worship at the feet of The Mighty Oswalt, no? If you have somehow missed him, here’s an introductory glimpse. One of my favorite bits. (Ignore the fact that Patton apparently visited Sammy Davis Jr.’s Ye Oldey Timey Haberdashery of Shiny Suit Jackets.)
Did you not giggle? Possibly even chuckle? Mayhap muster a guffaw? I’ve seen Patton live more than any other comedian, author or musician. This summer he and Conan O’Brien went on-stage drunk as skunks at the most glorious and epic sh*tshow I have ever witnessed. The show, which was meant to be a tribute to CoCo put on by SF Sketchfest, ran over by at least an hour. Here’s a rather sneakily filmed clip of Patton and Conan berating John Hamm for being both good looking and funny. (Note the empty bottles of wine on-stage…a tiny fraction of what was consumed that beautiful evening.)
Patton returned to that stage this week to talk about his new book “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland.” While the book is ostensibly a memoir, there are, sprinkled throughout, typically odd, Oswaltian bits such as a vampire comic, some off-beat greeting cards, and a chapter that spoofs wine descriptors:
MEINGUTENFUHRER ISSINWEIN GERMANY $15
The whitest, purest grapes are separated from the darker, weaker ones (which
are trucked off before the wine’s final solution) and used to make a clean, strong
strain of ice wine. A triumph of will.
But where the book really sings, are the chapters that are straight memoir including Patton’s time on the road as an up and coming comic. I heartily, enthusiastically, peer-pressuringly recommend you pick up a copy or, even better, snag the audiobook. That way you can get Patton’s signature delivery. Honestly, if you’re not convinced yet, I doubt you will be, you stubborn, cheeky monkeys, but here’s another favorite clip. Warning, there are mountains beyond mountains of swear words in this particular bit, so plug your earholes lest you be offended.
Joanna Robinson would like to thank her friend Jeff and his diamond puss for the tickets. You should know that a comedian at a Patton show once called her one of the Pajiban banned words. But that’s another story for another time.