Patton Oswalt Patton Pending
Published Jul 23, 2007Patton Oswalt has completed a rare feat in the annals of stand-up comedy. As Sub Pop releases Oswalt's second album, Werewolves and Lollipops — one of the edgiest stand-up records of the decade — the Virginia native also appears as Remy, the lead character in the Pixar-generated kids flick Ratatouille, a Walt Disney production that opened as the number one film in North America. The disparity between a profane comic imaginatively riffing on the sorry state of Western culture and a hopelessly endearing cartoon rat seems absurd. In flirting with mainstream projects though, Oswalt performs an admirable balancing act. "All my attention is focused on my stand-up; you just don't see a lot of it because I'm in clubs and it doesn't get chronicled as much as when you do a film or when you write something. But I write movies and TV so I can keep doing stand-up; I'm not doing it the other way around." In terms of subversive pop culture, Oswalt has been omnipresent. If you've flipped to a sitcom or sketch show on TV (Seinfeld, Mr. Show) or been to the movies (Magnolia, Zoolander) in the past 20 years, actor/writer Oswalt likely entertained you. From prime time fare like The King of Queens to the awkward success of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Oswalt has courted audiences with his vision and integrity almost unscathed. "I've dealt with some really hostile crowds — both left-wing and right-wing crowds — that have booed me off-stage and gotten angry," he admits. "It wasn't anything like, 'I'm gonna be controversial and get booed off-stage.' I was like, 'I think this is funny. If you guys don't, that's okay. No harm, no foul. I'll just leave…with your money.'"