8 Minutes With Patton Oswalt
Q: What do you get when you gather a group of comedians and follow them around with some cameras while they’re on tour?
A: The documentary Comedians of Comedy.
Comedians of Comedy follows the on-stage and behind-the-scenes lives of a group of comedians as they go on the road touring some of the major cities in the United States, including Seattle and San Francisco.
Sounds pretty funny, right? Well, the success of the documentary won many accolades, which led to the taping of a six-episdoe TV-series, Comedians of Comedy. As in the documentary, viewers get to watch what goes on in the public and private lives of these faces -in- funniness as they perform their material onstage and are put in commonplace settings like diners, vans, and hotels.
Although we get to see the secret lives of comedians offstage, exactly how much of this is true when they aren’t put in front of an audience or a camera? Patton Oswalt, one of the stars and executive producers of Comedians of Comedy, and also known for his role as Spence on The King of Queens, was once booed off the stage in Pittsburgh for his anti-Bush remarks. We asked him some questions, and in a flurry of short, quipped replies, here’s what he said:
How did you get into stand-up comedy?
I started in the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college at a club in Washington, D.C.
What was your worst experience doing stand-up comedy?
Getting booed off stage in Pittsburgh.
What’s your favorite one-liner?
I don’t have one. Reciting jokes just sucks because it doesn’t work.
Do you get nervous when you get on stage? How do you deal with it?
Sometimes I still get nervous. It depends on the situation. Usually I deal with it by having a shot of scotch or embracing the fact that I’m nervous.
What do you like best about living in Los Angeles?
The access to In-n-Out Burger.
Where do you plan your career to shift towards in the future?
A lot more writing and hopefully producing the stuff I like. I’m interested in horror movies and scaring people.
What makes you laugh?
People who are trying to be deadly serious and don’t know what they’re doing.
Tell me about Comedians of Comedy. How did you guys come up with the idea?
I came up with the idea because I was working with a friend of mine named David Cross. He and I were working in clubs in San Francisco, but a lot of our fans couldn’t come out because the price of the tickets was too high. We decided to do this documentary. Netflix financed the movie.
Maybe Patton Oswalt is an extremely sarcastic guy. Or perhaps he’s just not a fan of Pittsburgh, given his brief history with the city. Regardless, I would like to applaud Oswalt for the complete lack of wittiness in his responses, which were extremely hard to extract. We forgive you for your bitterness, because after all, you did get booed off stage during a performance in Pittsburgh. Next time, you should try to know your audiences a little better before you decide to be funny — or in this case, not so funny.
So the final take on the man known as Patton Oswalt: not too funny, probably not a morning person, easily annoyed, and decidedly anti-Pittsburgh.