This interview first appeared online on ThatOtherPaper.com April 29th, 2007
Comedian Patton Oswalt, who will be staring in Pixar’s forthcoming Ratatouille, will be hosting the second night of the Mess with Texas Party on March 17th.
Are alienation and outsiderdom essential components of being funny? How about in your experience?
No. Having an original take on life, whether you’re alienated or not, is essential.
Do bad comedians know that they’re bad?
Thankfully, for them, no. Or there’d be a lot more suicides.
Since bad and good are both subjective, I wanted to know what you think are some indications of good or bad comedy.
My only indication is whether or not the person doing stand-up clearly enjoys just being able to do stand-up.
Do you think comedy, music, or other arts can change the world?
Sure. But only one person at a time.
Can you believe that fartknockers.com remains an unregistered domain?
These are mediocre times.
When did you first become introduced to the Internet and what did you think of it?
The summer of 1995. I remember being depressed, ‘cuz I’d just spent $1000 on pen nibs for letter-writing.
What are some ways that the Internet has changed your life for better or worse?
Better — more porn.
Worse — more porn.
Some people first wrote off the Internet as a fad. What are some things that you’ve written off as fads that ended up sticking around?
Laughter and sleep.
Did you ever get caught up in a fad? If so, what fad?
Yes. Edible skateboards.
Have you ever known someone who’s gotten involved in a pyramid scheme or scam of some sort, such as Amway, or dealt with such scams yourself?
I have a fixation with Amway because my father was a distributor for 4 years. Was there anything that your parents did that horribly embarrassed you?
Is there anything that you do now that you realize was an unpleasant trait or habit of your parents?
Recently, one of the “fathers” of alt-comedy, Dana Gould, has returned to performing in clubs around the country. Why people should go out to see Mr. Gould and do you have an anecdote about Dana that you could share?
Well, people should go see Dan Gould ‘cuz he’s one of the best stand-ups working today. All of my anecdotes about Dana end with me laughing to the point where I almost pass out.
What do you recommend people do if someone passes out?
Run away as quickly as possible.
With tax season approaching, what do you recommend people do to relieve stress?
Go to the city dump and shoot possums.
How would you like your tax dollars spent?
On a huge caramel sundae.
If the people of Austin want to blow most of their tax return on fine dinning, where do you recommend they eat?
The Lean Cuisine aisle at any supermarket.
What do you like to do when you’re in Austin?
Harass Richard Linklater.
What comic book store do you stop at if you’re in Austin?
Books & Comics.
How do you feel about the recent Ghost Rider film?
Didn’t see it, but I still feel bad.
What comic books would you advise filmmakers to adapt and not adapt?
Please adapt Little Lulu. And leave Archie alone.
It was recently announced that ABC will be making a pilot based on Geico’s Cavemen commercials. What are some commercials that you think could be adapted to thirty-minute situation comedies?
How about the Wassup? Guys in prison?
If people are going to be adapting commercials into sitcoms, what’s next?
Yeah, seriously? What’s next? Am I right, people? Ladies, back me up.Guys, take a breather.
What’s the info on your forthcoming CD?
July 24, 2007, Lollipops and Werewolves, SubPop