Patton Oswalt

Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time

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Patton Oswalt hadn't let three years fly between comedy albums since 2004's Feelin' Kinda Patton and 2007's Werewolves and Lollipops, but those were his "rising star" years. Now a bona fide super comedian in 2014, with television and movie guest spots spewing out of his success fountain like there's no tomorrow, three years off might mean he's less interested, or about to chuck the genre for Hollywood and Vegas, but Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time is an excellent example of how Patton and standup are best friends, able to pick up right where they left off no matter how long it's been. The San Diego crowd captured here showers him with love as he takes the stage, and yet some self-loathing, body issues ("I would like to not be in a Rascal Scooter at my daughter's graduation"), and one of those upchuck-worthy Oswalt catch phrases ("I gotta go swab my folds") are an instant return to when he was an ornery, "our little secret"-type figure and not a millionaire Disney employee. "Creative Depression" is as everyman as they come, since hearing Toto in the Lean Cuisine aisle during an afternoon supermarket visit is the kind of soul-crushing experience found in flyover states, boring suburbs, and anywhere else dubbed "normal," and if you think voicing Ratatouille or hosting the Independent Spirit Awards has made him any kind of hip icon, spend some time in the Starbucks line with him and feel his outsider isolation ("You can't hear the Norah Jones CD over the sound of the employees' eyes rolling"). Blade Runner trivia is dropped at a pivotal moment, the empty hedonism of Vegas high rollers fuels one of the best bits, plus "I Am an Awful Dad" and "Adorable Racism" are related routines, so enjoy how he updates that "kids say the darnedest things" schtick for the politically correct powder keg world of 2014. Don't call it a comeback, because it feels as if he's never left, and know that Oswalt's albums fall either into the masterpiece or masterful category, this being a prime example of the latter. [Released as a CD/DVD package.]

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
blue highlight denotes track pick