Patton Oswalt dropped by Watch What Happens Live on Wednesday night to promote his new NBC sitcom, A.P. Bio, as well as his late wife Michelle McNamara’s book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. During the after show, however, Oswalt and his fellow guest Dennis Quaid took questions from call-in viewers at home which resulted in some great anecdotes from the Ratatouille star.
After fielding a question about his favorite co-star to work with (Charlize Theron in Young Adult: “I’m like, ‘oh, that’s a pro’ … it was just this other level of acting”), Oswalt was asked if there was “any hint of Scientology” on the set of King of Queens, with his costar at the time, Leah Remini. Remini, of course, has since quit the church and has been an extremely vocal critic of it.
Oswalt’s response was priceless:
“Not only was there no hint of Scientology, I teased her after Battlefield Earth came out, because I knew that she had to go to the premiere, and she told me that that movie was so bad that when it was over, she and her friend — they had all these buses to take people to the after party and get them giving quotes about how good the movie was, and she and her friend snuck out of the theater and hiked down through the woods to get to their car so they could avoid having to give it a positive soundbite for the movie. So that’s when I kinda suspected, ‘I think she might be leaving the church someday.'”
Next up, Oswalt was asked about whether or not his infamous Parks and Recreation Star Wars filibuster scene was improvised, and he had an equally great response.
In short, the improvisation came from a moment of sheer “nerd panic”:
“That was the writers and directors messing with me, because I love Parks and Rec so much, so all I had to do in that scene was to go start a filibuster about Star Wars, talk for three seconds about what I thought Star Wars was, and they told each other, ‘Hey just don’t say cut and see how long he’ll talk.’ So I didn’t want to be fired, so what you’re seeing is eight minutes of panic because I haven’t heard ‘cut,’ and I basically pitched this gigantic sequel for Star Wars, and I combined Marvel, and now that Disney’s bought Marvel, people are like, ‘I think your movie might happen?’ It was this weird, it was a moment of nerd panic because I didn’t want to get fired.”
And that’s how one of the greatest moments in television history was born. You can watch below for the first or 80th time: