Saturday, July 14, 2007

Patton Oswalt, Misplaced Figurines

Patton Oswalt is easily one of the smartest (or, perhaps more inarguably, most thoroughly literate and well read) comics out there today. I was fortunate enough to eat barbecue next to him here in Chicago during one of his Comedians of Comedy tour (thanks to Henry from Chunklet for inviting me up) and got to witness just how mentally fast he is. He told a story to those eating at the table, about something that had happen just the night previous, then I saw him perform it on stage an hour later, almost seamlessly sewn into a knock-'em-dead comedy bit. He performed the same bit, now even further perfected, on one of Conan O'Brien's live shows in San Francisco. Flawless.

He was also nice enough – after the barbecue, two shows, and a seemingly endless signing line – in the van ride afterward (where we unsuccessfully searched for a bar), to present me with a figurine a fan had given him (which, he realized, he'd be unable to take on the plane home). But like the ass I am, in the confusion and nonstop free comedy show of that van ride, I left the figurine in the van. No offense meant, Patton. (I'm sure he didn't even notice, though I love to think of him gripping it upon discovering I'd left it and, white knuckled, seething , "That ASSHOLE! He'll pay for this! Oh... he'll pay!" But I think that's conflating Patton with Cobra Commander.)

Patton's new album, "Werewolves and Lollipops" is just as genius as ever. I can't recommend it, or his many other recordings, enough.

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