The same day Patton Oswalt’s Emmy-winning Netflix comedy special Talking for Clapping began streaming, his wife, true crime writer Michelle McNamara, passed away. The comedian paid tribute to her memory in numerous ways, and even discussed his grieving process publicly — at least once enough time had passed for him to do so comfortably. Despite remaining a fixture in American pop culture, however, Oswalt’s devastating loss begged the question: Would the stand-up be able, or even want, to return to comedy? With Patton Oswalt: Annihilation, the answer is an assured “yes.”
With professed definitions like “complete destruction,” “absolute killing” and “nothing is safe,” Annihilation‘s first trailer presents Oswalt’s latest routine as another round of commentary addressing current events in America. (In other words, Donald Trump — otherwise referred to by the comedian as a “racist scrotum dipped in Cheeto dust” — is discussed.) Yet this short preview doesn’t fully suggest the new hour’s magnitude since Oswalt doesn’t outright avoid McNamara. In fact, Annihilation won’t allow it by design as Oswalt and director Bobcat Goldthwait chose to film the special at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, where McNamara’s “Irish brood” of a family resides.
Laugh at Oswalt’s jabs at Trump, and cry along with his remembrances of McNamara, when Patton Oswalt: Annihilation streams Tuesday, October 17th on Netflix.