Few comedians working today have the ability to move as seamlessly from one medium to another as our friend Patton Oswalt. The man is a near unstoppable force when it comes to exercising his talents whether it be on stage, in film, or simply composing brilliant 140 character gems.
Tomorrow is his birthday, and in tribute of all the joy he’s given us here at UPROXX, I’ve gone back and compiled some of the standout moments throughout his career. It wasn’t an easy task and obviously, I couldn’t fit everything the guy has done into this list (that’s what IMDB is for), but in no particular order, here are 22 moments of Patton worth celebrating.
1. His in-flight Twitter war with comedian Marc Maron
If you’ve listened to more than five minutes of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, then you’re familiar with Marc’s anger/self-loathing/jealousy issues. It’s his essence. Patton and Marc have known each other since the early 90s and Patton was one of WTF’s earliest guests. When the two comics found themselves on the same flight back in 2012, they put the plane’s in-flight wifi to good use and gave the internet a Twitter war 2,500 feet off the ground. It may have been the first transcontinental Twitter roast and we have Patton to thank for it.
2. The time he rescued Ben Affleck from angry Batman nerds
Circa 2006, it was cool to make fun of Ben Affleck, then he started doing movies like The Town and Argo and all was right again in Boston. None of that mattered though to Batman fans when Warner Brothers announced that Affleck would be the newest actor to pretend to be a billionaire running around in a bat costume. After a couple of #wickedpissah jokes, Oswalt came to Affleck’s defense, pointing out that ALL actors do bad movies, but 95% of them don’t rebound to come back stronger than ever. Oswalt made a strong defense for WB’s casting of Affleck on his Facebook page and managed to throw in a good pitch for himself as the joker as well.
Of course, the interwebs prefer to remember him as…
3. Portraying the Penguin in Pete Holme’s Batman sketch
One of the funniest Batman parodies ever, the sketch is worth watching if just to hear Batman explain what he calls his “morning boner.”
4. 5 seconds of Patton with 5-Second Films
Patton’s been a friend of the 5-Second Films crew for awhile now and given us some of the series’ best shorts. If you’re going to spend five seconds on YouTube, do your eyes a favor and spend it watching a creative new take on the classic shot to the nuts gag.
6. Patton writes a closed letter on the state of stand-up comedy
Patton offered his fans and fans of comedy in general, a poignant look on what was happening in comedy at the moment, and his personal experience concerning the trend of stealing material, heckling, and rape jokes. It’s a triple punch from somebody who’s seen nearly every angle of the comedy industry over the course of nearly three decades. If there’s anybody out there with an opinion worth listening to concerning Twitter plagiarism and the whole Daniel Tosh rape joke fiasco from a couple years back, it’s Patton. Set aside a few minutes and read the entire letter here.
7. From Ben & Jerry’s to Ozzy Osbourne, his concert posters are a pop culture feast for the eyes
Rather than rely on just a standard 8×10 headshot for comedy shows, Patton’s concert posters are pop culture works of art on par with anything from Pearl Jam. They also happen to be for sale and would naturally elevate any living space.
8. Discusses killing Superman with Jerry Seinfeld in Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee
Not only do Patton and Jerry get into a discussion about superheros and the correct way to exterminate the Man of Steel, but they attempt to hit 88 mph in a DeLorean. Sadly, neither Michael J. Fox nor Christopher Lloyd make a cameo, but it’s still worth a watch.
9. Just Seinfeld
It was one of Patton’s first acting jobs, and he played a video store clerk who refused to give up a customer’s address when George is trying to track down a copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
10. Takes time out to impersonate Tom Scharpling in garage rock videos
Tom Scharpling could have provided an intro for garage rock band The Ettes’ music video, “Excuse,” himself, but what fun would that be? Instead, he had Patton step in to cover his excuse on how the VFX budget was wasted on “good time vices.”
11. The man knows how to do Halloween
Yes, it’s a fantastic Dr. Octopus costume and probably makes anything you’ll ever attempt to make look like a garbage bag of disappointment, but not all the credit goes to Patton. Patton pulled off the costume with the help of Mythbuster’s Adam Savage. Nevertheless, the photo still makes me wish Patton was my dad.