I count as one of my accomplishments of the past year that I saw the comedian Patton Oswalt perform a live set. He makes me laugh. Which I suppose is the point. As a bonus, the show was at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse, a place that still shows $1 movies on Mondays and where a nice person brings you a pitcher of beer and pizza and other snackies while you watch a movie or a show. All business establishments should involve pitchers of beer and at least freshly popped popcorn. Back in the day (aka when I was in college) you could also smoke while you enjoyed your pitcher of beer, but I digress.
What I appreciate the most about Oswalt's humor, aside from his snide wit and cutting but not unkind observations is that I can relate to his cultural touchstones. He grew up in the Mid Atlantic region of the US (Virginia) and we are roughly the same age. I can laugh knowingly when he pokes gentle fun at the low budget commercials for Carvel Ice Cream starring the gravelly throated Tom Carvel ... which reminds me one of these days we are going to have to discuss Fudgie the Whale, Cookie Puss and Cookie O'Puss. And what is comedy if not the ability to relate to one another? I just made that up but it sounds good.
In the stand-up routine that I experienced in person, the bit that stood out the most for me was his description of going to a tony LA department store to try on designer pants and how the chic and slender sales clerks treated him like a man who didn't know he was dying for his lack of awareness of his own body and how it appeared in the John Varvatos pants ... you had to be there. Which again is I suppose the point of live comedy.
I won't try and find the clip on You Tube or link to any clips out of fear for suggesting something that's a violation of copyright in any way - hey, I respect an artist's right to own his/her own content, to the extent that they can. But do check out his website, http://www.pattonoswalt.com.
And follow him on Twitter for pete's sake, you'll thank me later - @pattonoswalt. Following his live tweets during the recent political debates was a much better use of my time than actually watching the debates themselves.
If you still have a few minutes, read this post about voting, it's what a funny and thoughtful blog should sound like and even tho we're past the elections, the message resonates: http://www.pattonoswalt.com/index.cfm?page=spew&id=158
I didn't start this post to be a love letter to Patton Oswalt, but what the hell. Laughter is life and life is love and love is laughter. I made that up too but if you want to needlepoint it on something, let me know where I can buy it on Etsy.
Did I mention Oswalt is going to be on Portlandia next week? Swoon. @ifcportlandia
PS - oooh I thought of another accomplishment from 2012 - Ken Kercheval responded to one of my tweets. It's a marvelous time to be alive. New season of Dallas starts Jan 28 ... boom.