Patton Oswalt's Omnipresence

Patton Oswalt is everywhere these days, from the voice of Remy on Ratatouille, his recurring role in reruns of the now-finished series King of Queens, this and fifty+ other blogs, and his new comedy CD out on Sub Pop Records. Everyone loves Patton Oswalt! But unfortunately the album doesn't deliver quite as much as I hoped it would. It definitely has some bright spots with enough wit and pacing to carry the day, but most of the material, while fairly funny, just sounds like it was written with Madlibs. You know, the game where there's a vague context already filled in, like a story, but you have to fill in the various adjectives, nouns, and verbs seperately? Then you add them back in and it's random and occasionally outrageously relevant to the story? Patton seemingly wants to shock the audience into laugher, or maybe just be completely random enough as to appear to be saying funny things. Or just get really loud like "hey i'm obviously saying something funny here so I'm getting LOUDER!" or throwing his voice to talk like a troll, which is obviously just hilarious.

I think it's totally sweet that indie music labels are putting out indie comic records (David Cross), though the comics usually end up being much more famous than their labelmates. For all the crap Dane Cook gets for being famous (same as any band that was once small and breaks it big), I find him a consistently funny and talented storyteller. Sure, he's got some madlibs moments, but they're better spaced, less insane maybe? Most of all, I miss the comic wit of Mitch Hedberg. His hits and misses were sometimes equally funny. With no shocking necessary.

America has Spoken - "...but until you invent a lunchgun, I would like a failure pile in a sadness bowl."
The Miracle of Childbirth - "...which I will illustrate by pushing this uncooked cornish game-hen through these gray drapes."
[from Werewolves and Lollipops|buy]


Anonymous Sam said...

AMEN AMEN AMEN about Mitch, and Dane as well.

Mitch Hedberg was a comic genius of the highest caliber; regardless of the number of times I listen to Strategic Grill Locations and Mitch All Together, I never ever stop laughing like a hyena.

Dane Cook does get a lot of crap about his huge fan base, doesn't he? But I sort of disagree about the band comparison, because too often small bands that hit it big deteriorate with their newfound stardom, and stop making quality music and often stop being quality people. Dane Cook hasn't dumbed his fierce comedy down for the masses, and while some of his movie roles are campy (okay Employee of the Month was cute, I admit I loved it) or even downright weird (have you seen Mr. Brooks?? blehh)... he's still Dane, and he seems mostly unchanged by his massive popularity. I listen to the DaneCast, and he still likes to talk about sangwiches and video games, and makes ceaseless fun of myspace comments he gets.

Ever listened to Demetri Martin? I think he's up there with Mitch sometimes, because some of his dry one-liners have sparks of Hedberg-like genius.

Man this was a long comment. Nearly a blog in itself! :)

4:37 PM  
Blogger drewcif said...

Sam, you rock for reading. thanks for the blog-esque comment.

But I was merely referring to the fact that Patton Oswalt and David Cross (both on Sub Pop Records) are way more popular/visible than any of their other label counterparts. They're like major label comics on an independent label because they are all over the Television, movies, media, etc.

Demitri rules. The musical touch is also key.

4:27 AM  

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