"Bring forth my doom-spawn from your stink crevice and prove the Gypsy wrong!" —Patton Oswalt's way of telling an audience that his wife is pregnant.
Hobbit-like stand-up comic, 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:
Axe Cop: Sockarang, Axe Cop's overenthusiastic friend and ally.
Big Fan: Paul Aufiero, a lonely Giants fan who is beaten up by one of his favorite players in a nightclub. A good example of Tom Hanks Syndrome.
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."
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 due to the incredibly inebriated state of his crowd, didn't manage to tell ONE JOKE in his 30 minute set, and STILL received a wild standing ovation at the end.
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.
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 possibly because using language suitable for children implies that you're speaking to a child. (see it under Narrative Profanity Filer, below).
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.
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.
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.
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 H.P. 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)