STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Patton Oswalt

Comedy Central - Patton Oswalt Taping

Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Patton Oswalt’s comedy career. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Just as it seemed that this week would be the end of the solid run we’ve had these past few weeks on Stand-Up Tuesdays, a late-breaking game-changer sidelined those plans as I had the utter joy of receiving Patton Oswalt‘s brand new Epix special, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time – just in time. And despite a mix-up in the initial airing of the special on Epix delaying its premiere, Tragedy Plus Comedy is available to stream at Epix’s website, giving you no reason not to watch it immediately. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Filmed before a packed audience at San Diego’s Spreckels Theater and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time is yet another seamlessly perfect performance from the veteran comedian. With a simple stage setting and no-frills opening, the special paints a wonderfully charming portrait of Oswalt as a father, and, well, generally awesome human being.

Oswalt is unabashedly honest on stage, even going so far as to describe a moment in which he feared he might ‘sell out’ (a delightfully awkward tale that essentially proves that Oswalt is such a great performer that he can literally take the stage for thirty minutes without telling a single joke and get a rousing response). As a comedian who never shies away from poking fun at himself, there is a sense of authenticity presented by Oswalt that remains almost unmatched in comedy (save for perhaps Louise C.K.). One immediately has the notion that a conversation with Oswalt at a bar would be just as entertaining as Oswalt on stage, creating an instant intimacy between the comedian and his audience.

Of course, Tragedy Plus Comedy isn’t all about Oswalt’s shortcomings. In addressing his opposition to the long-held belief that the state of Florida is America’s penis, Oswalt sums up the Sunshine State perfectly: ‘The only reason to visit Florida is to identify your dead daughter’s body.”

While Comedy Central will air Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time later this spring, waiting that long to take in Patton Oswalt’s new special would simply be irresponsible. Head on over to Epix today and check it out for yourself.

Grade: A+

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