Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Patton Oswalt
The semi-cool kid, growing old disgracefully
By Richard Whittaker,
10:58AM, Sat. Nov. 9, 2013
At festivals like Fun Fun Fun, sound bleed between stages is death and taxes inevitable. Question remains, how do you deal with it? In the comedy tent, Kyle Kinane took inter-gag breaks to appreciate Johnny Marr blasting Smiths classics. Patton Oswalt, instead, performed an impromptu stealth duet with the jam band next door.
Redubbing the band Tuesday Poem, he moaned and crooned along about quinoa and “what is soap?” He continued right up until the moment he realized it was Kurt Vile.
“I like Kurt Vile,” he eye-rolled in despair. “It sounds like he’s playing a pool of soy milk.”
For the Shrinky Dink Bill Hicks (scarcely an insult: the rotund, diminutive ranter regularly calls himself a Hobbit), FFF proved home turf: A crowd that laughs at Hasil Adkins references. And yet the Ratatouille star knows his own cult era is behind him.
These days, Oswalt personifies the depressive Nineties indie kid facing the unknown pleasures and terrors of maturity. There’s a lot less road warrior anecdotes of his Comedians of Comedy past. He’s swapped out stories about late-night Denny’s encounters for tales of trips to Starbucks with his young daughter.
Panic not. He’s unready for the toothless chat show circuit. Oswalt’s world comes stuffed with parenting mishaps that lead to accidental racism, not spilled yogurt. He’s of an age where Toto is the perfect suicide soundtrack, and his bleary-eyed optimism struck hard in a crowd facing its own long dark extended adolescence of the soul.
Cheer up, Patton. When Werner Herzog mistakes you for a zombie, you’re probably living right.
For more Fun Fun Fun Fest coverage, see www.austinchronicle.com/fun-fun-fun-fest. For photo galleries from the fest, see austinchronicle.com/photos.