Patton Oswalt It is, admittedly, difficult to define. He is a hired actor, comic writer, and sitcom narrator. But at his core, Oswalt is a stand-up comedian.
On September 20, he will release his fourth watch for Netflixwhich was called We all shout. He serves as executive producer, alongside David Rath, Neil Marshall and Marcus Raboy, as well as Special Director, a new role he’s particularly proud of. In fact, Oswalt is now putting directing other Hollywood projects at the top of his professional wish list.
The watch he photographed at the Paramount Theater in Denver, touches on everything from old age to pandemic. The setting, according to Oswalt, wasn’t so much about geography as it was about where his station in Denver fell during the tour. He’s also keen on switching his local locations from private to private, and he’s already filmed for hours in Seattle and San Francisco.
Earlier this month, Ozalt was sent to the field The The Hollywood ReporterA call from his car on the 405, as the Emmy-winning comedian spoke candidly about making content for a divided America and dealing with a culture of wakefulness and cancellation.
You have a lot going on. How did you decide it was time for a tour?
It’s funny, everything I do in other areas, writing, acting, producing, is so that I can increase my vision and continue to do stand up. Standing is always something I do. I’m either in the process of working on the next set or thinking about what that next watch will look like. So, it’s not that I’m finding the time, it’s that everything else around me fits right in to stand up.
I understood you. When it comes to putting this group together, what do you want to say with it?
I never deal with particular in terms of what I want my thesis statement to be. I want it to be an accurate reflection of what I was doing at the time. So, my last one, I felt like I came out of sadness [Oswalt’s first wife died in 2016] And I embraced love again [he remarried in 2017] And things felt kind of hopeful. It’s not quite as hopeful, but it does feel like, OK, we’re kind of out of a lot, not necessarily dark, but lonely. And so I concede that, oh, we’re programming a lot of our unit these days and trying to fight that, and in a funny way, he showed that there’s a danger in that. say sometime [in the special,] We all remember before the pandemic, “If only I could have a month to myself to put my life together.” And then the universe said, “Well, how about four? What about 12?” So, it really embraces the absurdity of that, the whole monkey paw aspect of the reality we live in.
You’ve named your tour, who’s ready to laugh? Is this a question you’ve found yourself asking: Are people willing to laugh again, and to that end, has what they laugh at changed?
I meant that more as ironic to me, and asked, “Hey, who’s ready to laugh?” Like, after all the hell we’ve been through, the absurdity of what a comedian does at this point, I really feel like a boss in nightclub Often. Like, what am I really doing against this rising tide of darkness that we’re up against? So, the title was supposed to be hopelessly funny. My interpretation was more, like, “Hey, I’m entertaining on the Titanic now,” because that’s how you feel these days.
We live in this very difficult time, and don’t shy away from topics like vaccine resistance in your comics. Do you find that your material is received differently while you travel, and do you have any concerns about alienating the masses with it?
I think I’ve always had so much confidence in my fans to rise to the occasion and get any joke, rather than trying to anticipate, like, “Well, what’s the mood for the country?? What should I say?” It’s as if I know my audience is At least, and I hope this doesn’t sound like a bragging, but they’ll understand that I’m kidding and that I’m trying to embrace the absurdity of everything we live in. I mean, if anyone told us, during our lifetime, that there was going to be a deadly pandemic and people would react to it like people during the Salem Witch Trials, like, “That’s not real,” [think they were crazy]. But this is the madness we live in, and it is inevitable.
But while the rest of us work in our own bubbles, you travel from state to state, seeing how things go down differently, or not.
yes. But, you know, that ended up getting really optimistic for me. I’m going to quote my friend Bobcat Goldthwait here, but once you get out into the world, especially as a roving comedian, what you discover is that Twitter and the Internet aren’t the world. Twitter and the internet amplify a mutant version of the world for fun clicks. But in the real world, people, for the most part, struggle to help each other and live their lives and just try to be human. Unfortunately, it’s as if we had bad parents modeling awful behavior for us, the kids. This is what we see now.
Who do you find bounce articles from these days?
A few months before the special, I’ll book two nights in a row, once a month, at like The Irvine Improv, a roadside comedy club where you really have to tweak and polish your stuff. There is nothing more humble than a night crowd that doesn’t have time for you. They will let you know [how you did] In uncertain terms.
There are a lot of people out there who will tell you that going out on stage right now is scary, because you don’t know what might happen and because you don’t know how your material might go out of context. Are these concerns you share?
I think comedians deserve context in what they say. Not only does it have to be “cancelled” out of context, but I also think comedians have a responsibility to evolve and try to move things forward. Pushing an envelope does not mean digging your feet in while the envelope is moving forward – you have to be ahead of that envelope, that’s how you should push it. And again, the whole fight over stigma, is nothing new. It happened in the ’80s, it happened in the ’90s and it will happen again in another form. This is what I was talking about [in the special]. I’m going to make a joke in the future, what am I going to cancel because of it? And you don’t know, but you at least want to try to keep moving forward.
The other thing I would say is that comedy has always done better with limitations. Think about the limitations that Richard Pryor and George Carlin, and before them, Lenny Bruce, had, and found clever and clever ways to get around any limitations, that’s what makes it fun and exciting.
How do you feel like these today? What constraints are you working under?
I don’t know, that’s not something I’m thinking about. It’s just that there should always be taboo topics and then there should always be smart ways to talk about it. You want both of these things. But like, if everything were allowed, there would be no excitement for comedy.
Nothing feels dangerous, and therefore nothing impressive.