Creator / Patton Oswalt

Pictured: A drunken halfling
"Bring forth my doom-spawn from your stink-crevice AND PROVE THE GYPSY WRONG!"
Patton Oswalt's way of declaring to his wife his delight at her pregnancy.

Hobbit-like stand-up comic and actor, born January 27, 1969, known for his "nerd-philosopher" comedic style, and working with fellow alternative comedians such as Brian Posehn, David Cross, Zach Galifiniakis, Maria Bamford, and Blaine Capatch.

Significant Roles:

This comedian's material contains examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Tends to be drunk on his comedy albums, and often does bits about drinking and being drunk.
  • Apocalypse Wow: One bit about how much cooler people who died in the apocalypse would be compared to those that died more mundane deaths in heaven.
  • The Atoner: After a lifetime of making fun of and sneering at people who wear sweatpants in public, he had a kid. Suddenly he totally understood, and dedicated a bit to how wonderful they are.
  • Awful Wedded Life: His take on the Stella Doro commercial couple.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Brilliantly done in this series of tweets.
  • Berserk Button: Plagiarism. In 2010 he had bits of his stolen by both an upstart comedian and a Columbia University valedictorian. Internet based smackdowns ensued. Also, do not call him a "Sad Clown."
    • Also, don't interrupt his set - you might find yourself on the receiving end of an Overly Long Gag if you do.
  • Big Fat Future: A side joke in his bit about time-traveling to visit himself 10 years ago and what his past reaction would be.
    "Look, you can't eat fried rice for breakfast every day."
  • Black Comedy: Quite often.
    • A particular example is his "Uncle Touchy's Naked Puzzle Basement" song: "You won't wear a shirt and you'll cry."
    • And who can forget this line from his Stella D'oro Breakfast Treats joke:
    "Your twat smells like a baby's coffin!"
  • Call Back: To his infamous KFC bowls bit below. The president of KFC actually commented on it and attempted to defend the product, and he made a whole second bit out of it.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Patton sent in over-the-top movie reviews to Aint It Cool News under the pen name "Neill Cumpston." No one figured out who it was until Oswalt admitted it months later. It was definitely Gushing About Shows You Like, and you only wish they printed his quotes on the posters.
    Neill, in a review of 300: I can’t spoil the plot because THANK GOD THERE ISN’T ONE. Just ass kicking that kicks ass that, while said ass is getting kicked, is kicking yet more ass that’s hitting someone’s balls with a hammer made of ice but the ice is frozen whiskey.
  • Defictionalization: The ridiculous list of food offered in his Black Angus bit? A fan had the entire menu served up for a friend's bachelor party.
    • Also included a gravy pipe, and a name tag with "Peaches" written on it for the bachelor. No word on whether the doors were locked from the outside.
  • Dramatic Irony: Deconstructed; when discussing what'll be the "little ironic moment" in a biopic of his life (such as Paul McCartney looking at a guitar in a pawn shop window), Patton hopes it'll be someone sarcastically saying he's a comedian, rather than him drawing a rhino with a huge boner as a kid, and then, as an adult, falling into the rhino enclosure at the zoo and getting humped to death.
  • Driven to Suicide: From "Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time": Being in a nearly empty grocery store at 11:00 AM on a Tuesday, looking at the Lean Cuisines? Perfectly fine. Being in a nearly empty grocery store at 11:00 AM on a Tuesday, looking at the Lean Cuisines, as Toto's "Africa" starts playing over the speakers? He'd have put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger if he had one, without even feeling any despair or sadness. Also, he feels that the cops would understand exactly why he did it, in a "oh yeah, we see this all the time" kind of way.
  • Heavy Meta: Has a few bits about stand-up comedy, including one famous bit where he reenacts a heroin addict's open mic act.
    • In Werewolves and Lollipops, he starts off by making fun of comedians who brag how "edgy" they're going to be in their act and then proceed to do the same tired material that's been done 100 times.
    • His story about headlining a week of gigs in Canada early in his career as chronicled in his book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is all about this.
    • In his Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time special, he recounts being hired by a casino to do a gig for an insane amount of money, and didn't manage to tell ONE JOKE in his 30 minute set, because the people in the audience were so incredibly drunk that they spent the whole time yelling out the names of TV shows and movies that they recognized him from, and all he did was say "yes" to each one. When his 30 minutes were up, he got a roaring standing ovation. According to him, he had never made an audience happier than he did at that show.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Brian Posehn.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: With a bit of Lampshade Hanging and Refuge in Audacity thrown in.
    "Yeah, boo robot I just made up!"
  • Lull Destruction: Lampshaded in "Wackity Schmackity Doo." He relates how script doctoring for animated movies usually involves this, and shows the absurdity of it by applying it to The Holocaust and the destruction of the World Trade Center.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Oswalt deconstructs the lyrical dissonance of "Christmas Shoes" by New Song in this comedy skit.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Discusses in Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time how his toddler daughter, after seeing a black man while at Starbucks, yelled "Monkey"! Turns out she was referring to Rafiki from The Lion King. He then picked up his daughter, put her in front of his face and ran out, which, from a distance, isn't any better. In fact it might be much worse, as it looks like he's "protecting" his daughter from a black man.
  • Moral Guardians: Not that he is one; he just hates them. He even has a sequence about how replacing 'adult' words with euphemisms results in a sentence even creepier than the original note  (see it under Narrative Profanity Filer, below).
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: "I'm gonna fill your hoo-ha with goof juice!"
  • Nostalgia Filter: Mocks this when discussing how his Whole Foods friends kept telling him to have a home birth because "that's how the pioneers did it". He says that it wasn't that great back then, and if they're going to say that, they might as well go all the way and have the baby outside, with their 9 other children, 5 of which will die of the rickets.
  • The Nothing After Death: As an atheist, he's talked about how this is his belief, to the point that he doesn't care at all what happens to his body and anyone can have any piece of it they want.
  • Old Shame: Blade: Trinity. Though he's also said that given the film's Troubled Production, the fact that it even exists should qualify it for an A+.
  • One of Us: And proudly so. He makes no secret of his love for all sorts of fan media and loves to be part of it as well. His comedy routines feature loads of shout-outs to geeky stuff.
  • Overly Long Gag: Tends to combine this with Genius Bonus for some truly hilarious bits; ie. his bit about the Apocalypse. His impression of Dr. Pepper the heroin addict comedian goes on for quite a while. The audience gives a big applause towards the end, assuming that he's reached the punchline, but it keeps going.
  • Pet Homosexual: Mocked in Finest Hour, where he was offered to play the role of the "Gay Best Friend" in a romantic comedy. He offered to do it only if he could portray the character as really stupid, which made the director turn him away.
  • Platonic Prostitution: In "Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time", he mentions he wound up doing this by accident during a tour. A madame (or web administrator of an online escort service) offered him a prostitute. He accepted, then took the hooker escort to lunch because he wasn't aware one could go straight to having sex, but ultimately didn't have the nerve to go through with it. Mostly because she told him her life of horrific domestic abuse and drug addiction. "She went from fake name to Werner Herzog film."
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: "Welcome to comedy in 2015, Trevor Noah!"
  • Refuge in Audacity: The track "Wackity Schmackity Doo!" on Werewolves And Lollipops, where he talks about adding jokes to footage of the Holocaust and 9/11.
  • Self-Deprecation: He frequently says that he looks like a lesbian.
    • Take a look at the description of Randy Tugman (in his roles list) again.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Intellectual alternative comedy peppered with swear words.
  • Take That:
    • Patton is NOT a fan of Yoshinoya Beef Bowl, ending his 2008 BlizzCon performance with a hilarious diatribe asserting that the chain must be a front for heroin distribution.
    • And if he had a Time Machine, he would travel back to the mid-nineties and kill George Lucas with a shovel.
    • One of his hallmark bits is a takedown on KFC's Famous Bowls.
    • His mocking of Black Angus Steakhouse's ads for its hearty meals actually won him the lead for Ratatouille; Brad Bird loved the way Oswalt talked in hilarious detail about the smorgasbord of food in that routine.
    "I'll suck a cock on the Golden Gate Bridge before I serve you any mixed greens, buddy!"
    • He outright calls NPR unlistenable, noting that racist, fascist conservative talk radio seems to have taken all the rock music, leaving NPR with boring jazz music and/or weird foreign stuff.
  • They Fight Crime: His bit about Barack Obama and Joe Biden when they first came into office.
  • Tone Shift: Throughout his book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. More of a collection of essays vice a straight narrative, some of them autobiographical (working in a movie theater as a teen, recalling his schizophrenic uncle), some just silly and goofy (a fake collection of old hobo songs, a more realistic wine menu), some a mix. The tone shift from the humor you'd expect from him to some dead serious and often depressing chapters can be disconcerting, especially if you just went in for the funny.
    • The story from his early career about a week of gigs he did in Canada manages to cover the entire spectrum.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Lampshaded heavily. Will often make an obscure reference in his act, then start topping himself, ie, making references to HP Lovecraft and This Mortal Coil, then end up talking about Frank Belknap Long. He lampshades the trope on one album, laughing about how he's expecting the audience to know such obscure references. He makes another obscure reference and pretends to bomb.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Most of his "old hobo songs" in his book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. (In the audiobook version, they're actually sung with accompanying instrumentation)
    Got a pecker made-a cigarettes
    And eight dead wives
    My ass is full of soup
    - Opening lyrics of “Squirrel House Christmas”